Forecourt Trader
Budget no help to retailers

The Budget, with its increases on fuel, alcohol and tobacco will do nothing to help retailers, according to trade associations representing petrol and convenience retailers. James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) ) said the Chancellor’s failure to act to prevent tax rises will hurt local shops: “At a time when

Julian raises £7,500 for the NSPCC

Devon-based independent filling station and convenience store retailer Julian Holliss has raised £7,500 for the NSPCC following the completion of a number of endurance feats. He is pictured presenting the cheque to Carrie Cardale,

Dolphin Retail goes into liquidation

Forecourt operator Dolphin Retail has gone into liquidation. The company which had 22 sites in the UK, including petrol stations in Scotland and Yorkshire, blamed the move on the credit crunch.

BP launches Gift Card programme

BP is now offering its customers the chance to purchase a range of gift cards from leading retailers, following a deal with gift card programme provider Coinstar E-Payment Services Limited. The introduction of the programme to

Scottish grocers call for tougher action against black market tobacco

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has called on the Scottish Parliament not to proceed with plans to ban the display of tobacco as proposed in the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill. In its submission to the

Gulf Retail strengthens its Scottish operation

Gulf Retail has appointed Karlos Ambrus as regional manager, Scotland. Ambrus, 45, from Falkirk, will be responsible for business development from The

Taxation on the hoof

It's been pretty much a roller-coaster ride on the business rates front. The last-minute reprieve announced by the Chancellor Alistair Darling was welcome in one sense, except that payments have only been deferred, and then there are next year's increases on top of those, with the remainder the following year...

Fight over rate hikes will go on

The Chancellor's 11th hour decision to back down over business rates is a step in the right direction but still not enough to help retailers, according to industry groups. Business rates were due to rise across the

The winner takes it all

If you think you've got what it takes to win the prestigious Forecourt Trader of the Year award then now's the time to prove it. If your site is worthy of such an accolade then what are you waiting for? Get your pens and cameras out now and start filling in the forms and taking the pictures that will put you in the running for this top prize. The awards are now in their 13th year, and the list of winners reads like a who's who of the industry. These are the people who put their heart and soul into their businesses and there's no reason why you can't join them.

Ice age

In ice cream companies up and down the country, many fingers are crossed and there's lots of touching of wood. The reason? Well, as the firm's unveil their 2009 line-ups, they're hoping that the sun shines and people come out in force to buy their ice creams. After two lacklustre summers, they're hoping it will be a case of third time lucky.

Let it shine

We're all hoping that 2009 will bring us a long, hot summer.

Brand designs

In 2009 most recesssion-hit shoppers are looking for one thing when they get out their wallets: value for money.

New Connect site for Motor Fuel Group

Motor Fuel Group has opened a new BP Connect franchise site including a Wild Bean Café.The Crownwoods Connect forecourt in Eltham, South London, was built in 14 weeks at a cost of about £1m - it was previously a closed site owned

Looks too good to be true? It probably is, says Ronson

Gerald Ronson, chief executive of leading property group Heron International, and founder of Snax 24 predecessor Heron Service Stations, summed up the past few years of the property market with the words: "If it

PRA aims to boost ranks and strengthen industry role

The Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) aims to strengthen its lobbying role and introduce a range of new initiatives as it

Sewell Retail wins prestigious award

Sewell Retail has been named one of the best companies to work for in the country. The Top 50 Indie retailer was included in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for Top 100 –

Warning on biodiesel

An investigation by consumer website has revealed potential dangers in buying a high-blend biodiesel called B30, which does not have the approval of many car manufacturers to use in their vehicles.

Total makes April its Green Car month

This month has been deemed National Green Car Month by Total. Working in association with Nationwide Autocentre,

Drivers to stay at home for their holidays

More people are expected to take their holidays in the UK this year as the recession bites.

Murco signs Costcutter in shop deal

Murco has signed a three-and-a-half-year shop supply contract with Costcutter, worth more than £100m a

Murco's IT network means much greater efficiency

Murco is moving 62 more of its forecourts over to its state-of-the-art core network to help increase management efficiency. The 62 join 168

in brief

== Waitrose opens sites ==

Highly rated

Retailers have been given a last-minute reprieve over business rates, but have been warned that they will bear the brunt of further hikes that are due to be imposed in April 2010.

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you think petrol retailing is one of the more resilient businesses to be in during a recession?

Fuel prices – April 1, 2009
In the surgery this month - AW & D Hammond, Halesworth, Suffolk

GENERAL APPEARANCE: On the A144 to Norwich is one of the Hammond Group's forecourts. The large Jet Aim Hi prize-winning site has a Ford dealership, plus used cars and servicing/repairs facilities.

Taxing times

== The VAT-man is back on the road - this time with new powers ==

Help and advice from Jac Roper

== You'll soon have to pay to stock top-ups! ==

Silver service

The coming year will mark a special point in the life of family-run independent HKS Retail. June 2 will mark its 25th year in business, and it has much to celebrate as it reflects on its successful journey in the petrol-retailing sector.

Texaco's rising star

It's being touted as the most exciting project for the Texaco brand in 10 years, and is long overdue. A brand refresh, under the title Project Shining Star, is to be piloted later this year ready to begin the rollout at the start of 2010. For everyone involved with the brand it will bring a welcome lift to a tired image. "We recognise the Texaco brand in the UK has been under-invested in for years and we're going to fix that through Project Shining Star," says Rhonda Morris, Chevron's general manager, marketing Europe. "The main purpose of the project is to re-establish Texaco as a premium UK brand."

Best in show at IFFE

Visitors flocked to the International Forecourt & Fuel Equipment (IFFE) show at the Birmingham NEC last month.

Park Garage Group opts for Scheidt & Bachmann

Park Garage Group has become the first retailer to install Scheidt & Bachmann fuel pumps at a site in the UK.

Xmo expands fleet

Sign installation and maintenance company Xmo Strata said it has added to its fleet of cherry pickers due to increased demand for refurbishment work.

Safety first at Asda

Asda has decided that all contractors working on its forecourts must carry safety passports.

New car wash offer

A Shropshire-based company is supplying touchless car wash systems from the US.

There's nothing soft about the soft drinks market

Despite poor weather and a slowing economy, sales of soft drinks did not fare too badly last year. According to the 2009 Britvic Soft Drinks Report, UK sales reached £8.4bn across all channels, a figure that was down just 1% on the previous year.

Red Bull goes large

Red Bull, known for its distinctive 355ml can, is now available in a larger 473ml version. The new size was chosen as it retains the slim-line look. Rrp is £1.99.

Galaxy takes biscuit

Following the success of the Galaxy Cookie Crumble sharing bar, a new single 45g version has been launched. Bars contain real Italian cookie pieces and retail at 49p.

Camel gets funky

JTI is introducing limited-edition 'World Inside' designs for Camel cigarettes across the independent and wholesale channels.

Bitesize trio

Cadbury is launching a bitesize range. Clusters (cornflakes and raisins in chocolate) come in small bags, rrp 50p while Clusters, Raisins and Peanuts, come in large bags, rrp £1.79.

In the swim

Coca-Cola GB is backing the launch of its Schweppes Abbey Well water with a 'free swim' promotion. For every swim redeemed it will donate £1 to the London 2012 Olympics.

Express move made by Henri Wintermans cigars

Henri Wintermans has launched a new Café Crème miniature cigar - while at the same time announcing it has brought the brand's distribution back in-house.

The Perfect solution

Autoglym's new Perfect Palm is a lightweight, ergonomic device for applying cleaning and polishing products. It grips to your fingers to "deliver exceptional performance with minimum physical effort". There are two versions: the Perfect Palm Applicator which delivers cleaning products to bodywork, glass or upholstery; and the Perfect Palm Microfibre for a smear-free finish. Rrp is £5.99.

Rustling up an offer

Kepak Convenience Foods hopes to broaden the appeal of its Rustlers range with the launch of two permanent price-marked products - bacon roll and hot dog at £1.49.

Pouch power

Vimto has launched a 250ml resealable pouch version of its fruit drink. It will hit shelves next month and is expected to be a big hit with the kids 'grab and go' market.

Simply a relaunch

Birds Eye is relaunching its Simply range of fish, poultry and red meat in new packs with a more premium look. The brand will be backed by a £3.2m spend including TV ads.

Schwartz products
The spice is right for you

Schwartz is expanding its new range of recipe mixes and grouping them under the 'Flavourful' umbrella. The company says its Schwartz Flavourful range uses chopped herbs and slowly-roasted spices for a fuller flavour. Each variant in the range serves four people and has a rrp of 98p.

Poppets gets a makeover

Fox's Confectionery has launched a new variety, new pack design and new pack format for Paynes Poppets. Chocolate chip cookie Poppets join the existing chewy toffee, juicy raisin and mint cream.

High energy prizes available

Lucozade says it is set to energise sales in the functional drinks market with an on-pack promotion which gives consumers the chance to win £1,000 a day, every day, for three months.

A roaring offer from Swan

To celebrate its sponsorship of the British Superbikes (BSB) 2009 season, Swan's Ultimate Driving Experience promotion features hundreds of prizes - from track days with a Porsche, to a session in a rally car and exclusive hospitality tickets to a BSB Superbikes race.