Forecourt Trader
Petrol prices set to soar to £1.20 by year end

The RAC has warned that petrol prices are set soar to £1.20 a litre by the end of the year. The organisation said that several facters were to blame, including rising oil prices, the government's planned fuel duty hike, and the end of the lower rate of VAT. It added this could all lead to a return of the record highs seen at the pumps last summer.

Shell looks at selling Ellesmere Port refinery

Shell has confirmed it is considering selling its major oil refinery at Ellesmere Port. The spokeswoman for the company said the move was part of a review of Shell's refining business, and that if the Stanlow site was

Ministers urged to act swiftly over Ombudsman

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on ministers to act swiftly and decisively to introduce a Grocery Ombudsman now that they have received a formal recommendation from the Competition Commission. ACS

End of an era

Yes it's true - although I don't think it has really sunk in for me and a good many others yet - for the first time in 20 years there is no Mogas column at the back of the magazine. We shall all miss the extremely talented and insightful writings of our Mogas columnist, whose identity has always been a well-kept secret - despite the many attempts by one and all to uncover it! For the moment we will keep it that way - in case (and in the hope) that our beloved Mogas will one day pick up his pen again, if only on special occasions. After all, his knowledge and experience of the petrol retailing sector goes a long way back, to when the industry was a very different place - to a time when there were more than 20,000 forecourts, and licensees were a thriving sector of the fuel retailing community. Mogas had plenty to say about the many conflicts between oil companies and retailers, as the balance of power fluctuated; as well as the radical changes that have taken place in the industry; and the many characters that have come and gone. Remember the Manic Hen? That was a Mogas-ism, concocted from the surname of a Texaco executive who created havoc in the network in the '90s. His more recent columns remain on the website for you to peruse. Meanwhile, we're more than happy to pass on your sentiments to him - he still has forecourts, although is busy pursuing other businsses.

Forced to shut over biofuels

A Yorkshire retailer is planning to sell off his stock at cost price and shut down the pumps at his family business after 50 years - due to biofuels legislation.

in brief

== Duty hike backfires ==

Results of this month's online poll:

In the light of recent sharply rising petrol prices, have you been using your diesel margin to subsidise unleaded?

Euro Garages spends £2.3m on flagship site

Top 50 independent retailer Euro Garages has reopened its flagship site -

Retirement prompts sale

Speedway Service Station, on the busy A396 between Exeter and Tiverton, Devon, has been sold by Christie & Co.

Crunch at lunchtime

The Air Ambulance had to be called to a Shell filling station after an elderly couple drove their Jaguar straight into the wall of the forecourt's shop after filling up. The lunchtime accident happened at Shell's Broughton Astley

Looking good

When Top 50 independent fuel retailer - Motor Fuel Group (MFG) -decided to redevelop the shops on two of its newly-acquired sites, the decision to assign them to Palmer & Harvey's (P&H's) new Mace symbol package was a no-brainer. "We have a long-standing association with P&H, but in particular a close working relationship with the company's account manager Julian Howitt," explains MFG's joint managing director Sharad Raja, known to everyone as Raj. "He was a key reason we decided to go to Mace on both sites, and while it's still early days, we are very pleased with the results so far."

Going solo

A symbol group is often the favoured way to get support from experts while you get to grips with the convenience store trade, but it's not the only way. Adhering to certain processes or fulfilling particular volume and ranging requirements might not be your idea of independent trading. Indeed it might make the freedom to trade how you wish without the constraints of a fascia seem more appealing.

Euro Garages does coffee deal with JJ Beano's

JJ Beano's has negotiated a new contract to provide its gourmet coffee and convenience foods machines to Lancashire retailer Euro Garages - number four in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 indies listing - as well as to Roadchef and First Motorway Services.

Dresser Wayne at BP

Dresser Wayne has signed a three year deal with BP to continue as its primary supplier for fuel dispensers at its forecourts in Europe and North America. Neil H Thomas, Dresser Wayne global president, said: "The new agreement builds on a long and successful relationship. BP is known for its innovative and performance-driven approach."

Xmo Strata bags prize

Xmo Strata has won the Health, Work and Wellbeing Award for small business in the South of England, in the National Business Awards Regional Programme.

Two more from Tchibo

Tchibo Coffee International is launching two new fully automated hot drink machines into the UK market. The company says the stylish machines are a continuation of the Coffea range which was launched in 2000.

What a Lotto work

Camelot is introducing new-look playstations, scratchcard dispenser fascias and external signage across its network of more than 27,500 National Lottery retail outlets.

Mints on the decline but strong ones are popular

Researchers at Mintel are warning that the UK mint market is cooling off. According to the company's latest report on the market, the mint sector has declined by as much as 8% during the past five years - falling from £204m in 2004 to just £187m in 2009.

CCE gives it a shot

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has launched new Relentless Shots. Providing the same amount of energy as 250ml of regular Relentless, CCE says each 50ml Shot contains 80mg of caffeine as well as vitamins B6 and B12.

Kit Kat's music break

Nestlé Confectionery is launching a new on-pack promotion called Music Break - the third and final of its three significant Kit Kat promotions this year. It aims to further boost sales for Kit Kat with 35 million free music downloads up for grabs. A big media campaign will include new TV advertising from September. The promotion coincides with the launch of Kit Kat Chunky Caramel, and together they will be supported by £10m of media investment - part of the £24m being spent on Kit Kat this year. The latest developments follow a very successful year for the Kit Kat brand, which has seen sales jump 17% (Nielsen CV total market 52 w/e May 16, 2009), out-performing the total confectionery market. Kit Kat Chunky Milk is also performing "exceptionally well".

Look after your mates

Beverage Brands has launched a responsible drinking campaign aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds.

Trebor adds gum

Cadbury is extending its popular Trebor Extra Strong brand with the launch of a gum in spearmint and peppermint flavours.

Doritos adds mystery

Doritos is launching a new 'mystery' flavour competition where consumers can win £20,000.

Xtremely good launch

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has launched Pringles Xtreme, which targets a younger audience with stronger flavours. They come in four bold flavours: exploding cheese & chilli; smokin' ribs; flamin' chilli sauce; and fiery wasabi.

Cigs get new designs

JTI has revamped its Mayfair and Berkeley ranges of cigarettes. According to the company, the new-look Mayfair pack has been updated to give the brand a more contemporary feel and changes include a faded stripe design in the background, a fine silver stripe down the left-hand margin, a smaller, embossed crest in the top right corner of the pack, and a modified logo.

Windsor Blue price drop

Imperial Tobacco has reduced the recommended retail prices of Windsor Blue. New price-marked packs have kingsize at £2.20 for 10, £4.35 for 20 and superkings at £2.23 and £4.40.

Towering success

Freestyle motocross rider Robbie Maddison performed a backflip over an open Tower Bridge in London earlier this summer. Maddison is taking part in the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour.

Pepsi comes with music

Promotional packs of Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi give consumers the chance to win Nokia 5800 Comes With Music phones. The activity is supported by TV advertising.

Crossroad rolls out

Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (formally Henri Wintermans) has launched a new premium roll-your-own tobacco. Called Crossroad, it comes in 25g pouches with a rrp of £5.98.

Win new flush-proof Domestos

To celebrate the launch of Domestos 24-hour bleach, Unilever UK is giving away six cases to four retailers. According to the company, the new formulation has increased viscosity and extra clinging power - for shoppers who want to keep their bathroom clean every day.

Lucozade backs Big Brother

Lucozade Energy is the sponsor of the 2009 Big Brother TV series. According to brand owner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the sponsorship, supported by a £12m marketing campaign, is expected to drive significant sales for the brand around the series finale later this month.

Fruity offer from Whitworths

Whitworths has launched nibl, which it says is a new range of healthier, indulgent fruit, nut and chocolate mixes, into the adult healthy snacking market.

Hula Hoops' big campaign

To support its new on-pack promotion, interactive website and TV advertising campaign for Hula Hoops, United Biscuits is giving readers the chance to get their hands on five cases of Hula Hoops. There are five prizes available.

Price checks and site checks make my day

First I check the emails. We are on daily Platts now, and the price seems to move with the stock market at the moment. BigOil is my first reference as to how prices will change today. And Total's email will come in shortly.


Write your name, address and phone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want – Domestos, nibl, Lucozade or Hula Hoops – 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 August 31, 2009.

Fuel prices - July 27, 2009