Forecourt Trader

Philip and Lesley Tout of Budgens Nailsea in Bristol were the Forecourt Trader of the Year winners last night at a glittering awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. The evening was hosted by Shaun Williamson of Eastenders fame, and featured a James Bond theme with a lookalike Jaws, gold-painted girls and a 'Casino Royale' complementing a great line-up of entertainment. It was attended by nearly 700 guests from the petrol retailing industry.

Panic over - BP agrees deal with Arval

BP will continue to accept Arval fuel cards at its petrol stations. The oil company had previously stated it was terminating its contract with Arval at the end of next month due to escalating costs. It had told dealers they were free to continue accepting Arval business but would have to foot the bill themselves and deal with Arval directly.

GNE Group to sell Petrol Express


A change is on the cards

As BP prepares to sever all ties with Arval, the issue of card payments has been hitting the headlines. BP wrote to its dealers last month saying it was ending its agreement with the fuel card company due to soaring costs. And while many retailers seemed to agree that Arval had been too greedy, they remain worried about losing this part of their business.

Silver lining?

If there is such a thing as a silver lining in these dark clouds of a gloomy August then perhaps it could be BP's stand against Arval over card charges.

Shining example

After a house, a car is probably most people's most expensive purchase, which is why they're so keen to take care of them. But are you providing your customers with what they need?

Santa's little helpers

After looking at the grocery multiples' 'silly prices' on Christmas confectionery last year you might have thought it's 'game over' and decided to give up on the category all together.However, Nestlé UK trade communications manager, Graham Walker, wants you to think again. "Forecourts can win at Christmas because of their convenience and their role as a top-up shop. It's mayhem Christmas week in the multiples so many people will want to avoid them. Instead they'll pick up their last few bits and pieces from their local c-store," he says.

Great Scot for Murco

Murco Petroleum has moved into the Scottish market for the first time by buying seven sites from group dealer Brownwight & Wall. The Jet-branded sites are all west of Edinburgh in the West Lothian and Falkirk areas and Murco said it is on the lookout for "further network growth opportunities throughout the UK".

Chevron sells its distributor business

Chevron Limited has announced it is selling its UK equity distributor

Jail for cashier in credit card scam

A 33-year-old Sri-Lankan forecourt cashier has been jailed for his part in a £175,000 worldwide bank-card scam.

Out-of-stocks cost industry millions

Convenience retailers could be missing out on £100m-worth of lost grocery sales due to sought-after products being out of stock.

Fuel prices – August 27, 2008

News in brief

Marks and Spencer is opening its 100th Simply Food store on a BP Connect site this month. The Towcester North Simply Food at BP Connect on the A43 will open for business on September 10.

Results of this month's online poll:

Are your fuel sales down on last year?

Playing the trump card

Retailers got a nasty surprise in the post last month - a letter from BP announcing it was ending its agreement with Arval.

In the surgery this month - Roman Camp Service Station, Aylmerton, Norfolk

GENERAL APPEARANCE: On the A148 between Cromer and Kings Lynn is the small village of Aylmerton. Just outside the village is a Murco service station that includes a Your Store shop. Situated on a sweeping, wooded bend in the road, the site is clearly visible.

And they think it's all over...

Funny how after a few days of news about slightly falling oil prices, people begin to think that we're past the worst. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that in the so-called 'silly season' when there aren't a lot of news stories around, the daily rags have been full of 'fuel price war' stories. And that's because one or two of the supermarket giants have loudly announced a few pence off their previous (record) prices, or even gone back to very blatant cross-subsidy tactics of the 'spend £50 in our shop and get 5ppl off our petrol' variety. So, back to 'business as usual' then?

Service Centre with Jac Roper

== It's good to talk ==

Sowing the seeds

Retailer Andrew MacDonald grins as the queue of drivers snakes its way onto his forecourt.

Last orders

On September 23 Scottish retailer Jean Allardyce will go before her local licensing board to fight to retain the alcohol licence at her forecourt. And despite 30 years in the business, she believes this will be one of her hardest fights yet. And worryingly, it's one she says many of her fellow retailers in the area have already given up on.

More zva zva zoom

ELAFLEX is launching its new generation of ZVA Slimline 2 and ZVA Slimline 2 GR nozzles this month to replace the standard ZVA Slimline and ZVA 200 GR vapour recovery versions.

Safety first when hitting the heights

Working at height continues to be a major cause of death and injury at work.

Cut your emissions

VapaSava has launched what it says is a unique system which recycles petrol vapour on site.

Cheaper cover for clean-ups

Layton Blackham Insurance Brokers has launched an insurance policy which it says is the first to provide cover against cleaning up a pollution incident at an affordable premium.

Wispa's back again

Cadbury is bringing back Wispa permanently from next month.

A Monster launch

Walkers is bringing back its original Monster Munch snack.

Diageo gets into the spirit

Diageo GB is building on its campaign to highlight spirit and mixer serves with the launch of its autumn Mellow Spirits activity. This is backed by a £300,000 spend on print advertising, sampling and in-store pos material.

Magnum's getaway

Unilever is running a 'Win a VIP Getaway Every Day' on-pack promotion on Magnum.

Premium Pringles

Pringles launches a new premium range of bagged snacks this month.

Pricemarked packs

Responding to the growing trend for larger packs, Gallaher has launched a pricemarked 50g variant of Amber Leaf. The new packs, marked at £9.99 and including rolling papers, are available for a limited period and are exclusive to the independent and wholesale channels.

Heinz adds 13 new soups

Heinz is adding 13 new varieties to its ambient soup range. Backed by a £2.5m campaign, including TV advertising, there are new additions to its Classics, Weight Watchers from Heinz, Taste of Home, Big Soup, Farmers' Market and Soups of The World ranges.

Planets in pouches

Following its huge success in small single bags, Mars Planets is being launched in a pouch pack.

Flavoursome trio

Wrigley has expanded its top chewing gum ranges with the launch of three new flavours.

How to enter Giveaways

To claim your Giveaway, simply write your name, address and telephone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want - Ginsters, Kit Kat, Swan or Cadbury - and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to us at Forecourt Trader, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT, by September 30.

A taste of Cornwall

Ginsters says it offers forecourts around the UK great profit-earning opportunities via its "impressive product portfolio". Add this to the

Come to your senses

Nestlé Confectionery hopes to drive autumn sales of Kit Kat Senses with a promotion which gives consumers the chance to win limited-edition t-shirts designed by Girls Aloud. In total, 165 t-shirts in five different designs will be given away every day throughout this month.

On yer bike with swan

Swan is an official sponsor of the Bennetts British Superbikes Championship (BSB) - one of the most fiercely fought domestic motorcycle racing championships in the world.

Stick with it

Ice cream manufacturer Fredericks Dairies has added three new variants to its popular range of Cadbury stick ice creams.


In the great bagatelle of life, we all have to rely on certain assumptions to survive. When you're driving your car you have to assume the guy coming the other way will stay on his side of the road. When you walk on a cliff path you have to assume the cliff won't crumble beneath you. And when you're sat in your house you have to assume that the roof won't suddenly cave in. (I was going to say that when our sportsman are hyped up before an Olympics you can assume they'll do crap, but I guess this time round I'll have to confine my cynicism to Fabio's Failures).