Forecourt Trader
New hand reader aims to cut retailer payroll costs

Time2 is targeting forecourt retailers with a new hand-recognition technology system designed to cut payroll costs.

Verco chiller deal

Verco has installed bespoke versions of its Kingston open-chill cabinets at Welcome Break's Oxford and South Mimms servies.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee

Coffee Nation has launched the 2G Touch, its new 'intelligent' coffee machine.

Sainsbury's and Tesco reveal soaring sales

Sainsbury’s and Tesco have reported surging sales – with Sainsbury also revealing ambitious expansion plans. In its First Quarter Trading Statement for 12 weeks to 13 June 2009, Sainsbury’s said total sales for the first quarter were up 3.2 per cent (7.6 per cent excluding fuel). There was also continued growth in customer numbers – the supermarket reported having over 18.5 million transactions each week. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s said it aimed to raise approximately £445 million of capital to “accelerate growth plans” which included acquiring 15% more floor space by March 2011.

ACS calls for free vote on tobacco display ban

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the government to give all backbenchers a free vote on whether to introduce a display ban on tobacco. The Association said its

Retailers urged to beef up cash security

With crime costing the UK retail industry more than £3.5m a year, cash management company Loomis has urged retailers to be more vigilant with security.

Chevron gets back on track with the 70s

Chevron has proudly put a classic race car from the 70s back on the race track through its Texaco brand. According to the oil giant, Texaco was originally involved with the Group One and Group Two Ford Capris from 1973 to 1976

Mobil 1 teams up with Brawn for Formula One

With the British Grand Prix just days away, ExxonMobil is teaming up with Brawn GP to supply its fuel and Mobil 1 lubricants for the 2009 FIA Formula One season.

Jonathan does quickstep to Spar

Committed Budgens retailer Jonathan James has been forced to convert his two forecourt stores in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, to Spar following public outrage at the opening of a third Budgens store in the centre of the town.

Brobot commits to Londis

Following a successful store trial, Brobot Petroleum, the forecourt retailer with 21 sites in the East Midlands and Yorkshire, has confirmed Londis as its long-term retail partner, which is expected to achieve annual turnover of more than

ACS urges OFGEM to tackle 'bullying'

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has called for Ofgem to go further in tackling ‘bullying’ practices adopted by some energy companies against retailers.

Messy business

Now we know why the country's in such a mess, MPs have been so busy fiddling their expenses they don't have their minds on the real game. For example when those hard-working chaps at the Association of Convenience Stores went to visit them recently about the dubiousness of the proposed tobacco display ban, they were probably more focused on whether their expenses had been signed - particularly the silver spoon cleaning and having the hedge trimmed into the shape of a peacock - and whether this cost could be fobbed off onto the taxpayer.

Two new fuel brands come to the UK seeking retailers

Two new brands have entered the UK forecourt market and are looking to recruit more independent retailers. The first

Total offers free assistance

Total is claiming to be the first petrol retailer in the UK to offer its customers free breakdown cover, following the launch of its Total Assistance scheme last month. Launched on the basis that

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you think the upgrading of drive-offs to a criminal offence will do anything to discourage such crimes in the future?

in brief

== Murco rebrands sites ==

Calanike opts for Esso on nine former BP sites

Top 50 Indie Calanike Retail is rebranding nine BP sites to Esso, with two more sites - both Jet branded - following suit to Esso later in the year. Kenny Webster, managing director of Calanike, which has 19 sites, explained: "We are delighted to be joining forces

New look for Sherlodge

Sherlodge Garage at Lordswood near Chatham in Kent has been rebranded as a Harvest Energy site, replacing Pace.It is the first of many planned re-brands for 2009, according to a spokesman for

Race night is Jet's treat

Jet teamed up with Royal Windsor Racecourse to treat all Armed Forces and NHS staff to a free night at the races last month. "Hosting the six-race event was a way for Jet to demonstrate to service personnel how much they are valued within their local communities," said Patrick Hudson, Jet's marketing manager, retail.

Police investigate scam on Shell site

Customers at one of Shell's leading outlets in the East Midlands have been told it is now safe to use the forecourt after hundreds of people lost cash when their bank cards were cloned. Banks have been contacting motorists who used the Shell Trocadero forecourt, on

BOSS launches crime website

The British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) has unveiled its website at The new site aims to provide BOSS's police and petrol retail partners with a comprehensive information resource as well as informing visitors about the campaigning work that BOSS undertakes in order to

Oil industry cricket tournament

On Monday June 22 three teams representing the oil industry will take part in a cricket tournament at Lord's, the home of cricket. Manufacturers, retailers and suppliers will do battle on

An appetite for success

Shoppers continued to develop a healthy appetite for food-to-go on forecourts last year, helping to boost sales in the sector and cut retailers' reliance on tobacco sales.

In the surgery this month - Plantation Filling Station, Kendal, Cumbria

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The store is housed in a 'farm shop' style wooden cabin and the filling station shares the site with an outdoor clothing/camping shop that boldly promotes discount prices and seems to attract a

Paying your way

== Minimum Wage to rise ==

Help and advice from jac roper

== We've got it all covered except for the rent ==

Onwards and upwards

Up until a year ago, Palmer & Harvey (P&H) viewed itself as a very efficient traditional wholesaler and that was all - but now that's changed. P&H says it has enhanced its market-leading delivery capabilities by offering complete, tailored solutions for its retail partners - and those include many forecourts.

Golden Gilhams

Buoyed by a glowing report in last month's Shop Doctor, Derek Lodge, chairman of Top 50 Indie Rusdene Services, invited me down to see this "marvellous" site in West Sussex, which was the subject of the article. Rusdene runs Gilhams Service Station in partnership with another Top 50 Indie, FW Kerridge. The

Retailer summit

An industry-wide consultation, that will set the agenda for local shops into the next General Election and beyond, was announced by James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, at last month's Summit '09 in Birmingham.

Fuel Market Review 2009

Once again Catalist is pleased to be able to provide Forecourt Trader with the UK summary for its Fuel Market Review 2009. The data shown in the following tables is from Catalist's latest release of its UK database in May for the first quarter of 2009.

Slow burn

Unfortunately the wheels have not come off the lumbering Health Bill and the tobacco display ban that features within it looks likely to go ahead. Last month the House of Lords defeated an amendment to remove the ban from the Bill by 204 votes to 110, and now the Bill will go to the House of Commons for consideration.

Child's play

One in every three shoppers walking into a c-store has at least one child in their household. That's according to figures in Harris International Marketing (Him)'s Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP) 2009. And with suppliers increasingly catering for the kids' market, and parents keen to keep youngsters happy on car journeys, petrol retailers are ideally placed to make the most of this sector.

Home time

As the recession bites, more of us are trading down to cheaper own-label products. And the sector which has seen the most of this is household goods. That's according to the Recession Study March 2009, published by Harris International Marketing (Him), which found that 38% of people said they planned to buy more 'value' own-label products. And the top value item they said they were after was cleaning products.

Kärcher moves into car wash centres

Kärcher UK is introducing a number of initiatives including a revenue-sharing scheme, opening a chain of standalone car wash centres, and launching a new coin-operated jet wash.

Birthday bonanza

Signwaves is celebrating 20 years in the sign and display industry with the introduction of a range of new products.

PayPoint extension

PayPoint and BP Retail have extended their exclusive agreement to provide mobile top-up and other services to BP forecourts.

Vending great service

Westomatic Vending Services is being relaunched with a series of customer-focused initiatives which it says are designed to improve customer service.

Heinz hots up sauce sector

Heinz says it is hotting up the sauces category with the launch of Heinz Twisted Ketchup, its new spicy tomato ketchup range.

A naturally good offer

Snack bar company Nature Valley is inviting consumers to take a pause in their busy day with a brand new national TV campaign.

Easy eating snack appeal

New Mikado is an ultra-thin crunchy biscuit stick covered with smooth milk chocolate, with one end left uncoated to make on-the-go eating even easier.

WKD prize is up for grabs

Accounting for over 41% of RTD volume in impulse (Nielsen Scantrak GB impulse RTD category MAT volume March 21, 2009), WKD says it is well-placed to maximise sales opportunities for forecourt retailers this summer.

Walkers launches Gary's Great Trips promotion

Walkers launches a new promotion this summer called Gary's Great Trips.

Starburst goes smooth

The Wrigley Company is adding a new product this summer called Starburst Smoothies.

Singing for summer

Coca-Cola Great Britain is aiming to capture "the essence of summer" with its new ad entitled Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La. It aims to inspire people to say 'yes' to the opportunities summer brings with an ad featuring an exclusive track written and produced by Calvin Harris.

Berry nice snacking

Snack a Jacks has launched two new flavours: berry and sweet chilli targeting consumers who want healthier snacks.

Go sweet on new Nibl

Whitworths is launching a new range of healthier, indulgent fruit, nut and chocolate mixes on to the market.

Getting into the spirit

Diageo GB has launched an updated format for its Raise Your Spirits initiative aimed at boosting growth across the spirits category.

Road to recovery

UK distributor Randstad has launched a range of breakdown and emergency kits for drivers.

Giving health a shot

Voltz Distribution UK has secured the rights to distribute the Voltz 5 hour energy shot. The drink is described as a healthy alternative to the usual energy shots - it is made up of a combination of B vitamins, amino acid and anti-oxidants.

An Ice Kinder surprise

Kinder Surprise has teamed up with the new film Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs for a promotion this summer.