Forecourt Trader
Sewell Retail crowned Forecourt Trader of the Year 2009

Sewell Retail was named the Forecourt Trader of the Year winner last night at a glittering awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. The evening was hosted by veteran DJ Tony Blackburn and had a retro 70s theme, complete with an Abba tribute

Oakford is new BOSS chairman

Peter Oakford of Chevron (best known for its Texaco brand) is the new chairman of BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, taking over the role from Total’s Peter Mellins who now becomes the vice-chairman. Oakford is manager of sales for the Texaco brand in the UK and brings to his new role as

Spar sales up 8.1%

Spar has reported overall sales up 8.1%, with like-for-like sales up 5.2%, in the three months (Q1) to July. Jerry Marwood, Spar UK MD, said the latest figures were very positive compared to most industry benchmarks, with a continued optimistic outlook for the months ahead.

Hammond MD retires, and takes on PRA role

Brian Madderson, managing director of Kent-based Top 50 Indie George Hammond, is to retire at the end of October and take on a new role as non-executive chairman of the Petrol Retailers' Association on November 1. George Hammond plc entered into petrol

New eco-friendly services planned for M5

Plans have been submitted for a new eco-friendly service station on the M5 in Gloucestershire. The site, which would be located between junctions 11a and 12 on the motorway, both north and soutbound, would be part-operated by a charity. The Gloucestershire Gateway

Westminster urged to follow Scotland's lead

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has urged the Department of Health to follow the Scottish Parliament’s lead by addressing the issue of proxy purchase of tobacco. The Health and Sports Committee has recommended that measures to

Spar seals £200 million deal with Maxol

Spar has announced a £200 million deal with Maxol in Northern Ireland. The five year deal involves 29 Maxol convenience stores being branded as Spar outlets and means that all of Maxol's company-owned service stations in NI will now operate under the Spar

Morrisons' petrol director moves to Brulines

The man heading up Morrisons' forecourt division, Phil Maud, is moving to Brulines – which owns wet-stock management specialist Edensure – as managing director of the group's petrol

Get involved

If you disagree with the proposed ban on the display of tobacco then there is still time to object. But don't delay. The Association of Convenience Stores has a very good website providing the background to the main issues and a draft letter you can copy and send to your MP before the October 12 deadline.

Winter of discontent looms as prices soar

The AA has described the govenment's plan to go ahead with this month's 2p fuel duty hike as "baffling" and "nonsensical", saying it has sympathy for retailers in the face of soaring prices.

Scrubs up nice

An increasing number of people are rolling up our sleeves and washing their cars. With drivers watching their wallets as the credit crunch continues, DIY car care is definitely on the agenda, so don't ignore this category.

Best practice

Palmer & Harvey (P&H) launched its Partnership Plus programme last year to provide a 'total category management' service for convenience stores and forecourts.

Oldies but goodies

If you are looking for lots of exciting new confectionery lines for this Christmas you're going to be disappointed. There are a few here and there, but mostly manufacturers are sticking to existing products that they know sell well.

Cup winners

In years gone by, grabbing a coffee on the way to work was something only the Americans did. Now it's commonplace here and many forecourts have got in on the act by offering hot drinks to go. However consumers are a discerning bunch and they demand quality and consistency. Luckily for you, there are many coffee machines available that offer just that.

Snack happy

When it comes to snacking, consumers just can't help acting on impulse. And, as the credit crunch squeezes shoppers, many feel they deserve to splurge on that occasional treat even more. According to AC Nielsen data, crisps and snacks is the only category within impulse that is currently in growth - up 3.8% (total market 52 w/e November 11, 2008). And as impulse snacking is worth £4.2bn a year, that 3.5% equates to a lot of sales.

Smither succeeds Ashdown at BP

BP has brought together its Convenience Retail, Logistics and Fuels business in the UK and appointed Neale Smither to

Scrap your car wash - get £2,000

Kärcher Vehicle Wash has launched a scrappage scheme offering retailers up to £2,000 cashback for their old car wash. Similar to the government's

BP invests in biodiesel

BP has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Martek Biosciences Corporation to develop biodiesel. US biofuels specialist Martek will work on technology to convert sugars into biodiesel for BP's Alternative Energy

We need your votes for our Retailer Champion award

This year's Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards includes a new award which aims to recognise the key industry players in the fuel retailing sector. The new award has been launched in conjunction with

Jet campaign puts dealers in the spotlight

Jet is running a Local Hero campaign aimed at helping its dealers gain more

Slick move at Fraser Group

A merchandising trial at the three Oxfordshire-based Fraser Group sites has led to a 12% uplift in sales of oil.

Double the car trouble

Paramedics had to deal with two separate incidents on the same forecourt within one hour of each other. The accidents happened on a Morrison's forecourt at Coventry's Alvis Retail Park.

Another Spar store for MRH Retail

MRH Retail, number one in our Top 50 Indies list, has opened a Spar store on its BP site in Nettlebed, Surrey.

Service gets its own week

Around 2,000 companies from across the UK are expected to take part in National Customer Service week, which will run from October 5-11.

in brief

== New text lube service ==

Results of this month's online poll:

Are you worried that biofuels legislation could pose a threat to your business?

Fuming in the dark

Forecourt retailers in the Republic of Ireland have been living with the new tobacco display ban regulations since July 1. It's early days yet, but a recent visit, care of Imperial Tobacco, revealed

In the surgery this month - Square & Compass Garage, Mathry, Pembrokeshire

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The village of Square and Compass, Pembrokeshire, is situated about midway between St David's and Fishguard on the busy A487. My stealthcheck target is the Square & Compass garage, which is clearly visible via its bright new Total pole.

Sick and tired?

== Do you have a 'sick note' on your team? ==

Help and advice from jac roper

== All's well that ends well ==

Straining at the lease

As retailers throughout the land comb every nook and cranny of their businesses looking for different ways to keep costs down, newly-formed property company - Birmingham-based Barber Wadlow - is ensuring they don't miss out on the bigger picture, by offering some guidance on their property costs.

Scaling new heights

Eric Snowdon and his wife Min may only be a few years from retirement - but they're not frightened of taking on a fresh challenge when it comes to their business. Earlier this year, after 17 years running the Whitehouse Services forecourt in Devon, they decided the time had come to give their site a major facelift. The couple opted for a total knock-down and rebuild of the store, which meant operating the shop side of their business from a Portakabin for nearly three months.

People power

You'll all be familiar with the saying 'the customer is always right' but forecourt retailer Jonathan James is more familiar with it than most. Jonathan is operations director of James Graven & Sons, which he runs with his wife, managing director Rebecca, in Cambridgeshire.

Rolls Royce chooses Kärcher for car wash

Rolls Royce Motor Cars has chosen Kärcher Vehicle Wash as its preferred supplier for its new water leak test and car wash facility at its UK headquarters in Chichester, West Sussex.

Greener cleaner drier

Savortex Limited has launched what it says is the world's greenest hand drier. According to the company, founded by The Apprentice contestant Syed Ahmed, the Vortex hand drier uses patented spinning air technology that breaks up water droplets on the skin, accelerating drying times. As well as having a low carbon footprint and low cost of ownership, the company says it dries hands in just 10 to 15 seconds and is the quietest in its range.

Hamster sweeps up

Hako Machines has launched the compact Hako-Hamster 500E walk-behind sweeper, designed to provide powerful sweeping performance on hard floors and carpets.

PayPoint's SIM bonus

PayPoint has secured direct distribution agreements with Vodafone, Virgin, T-Mobile and Orange that will allow retailers to receive commission of up to £5 on each SIM card when sold with a top-up voucher.

Play your cards right

Payment processing company DataCash has added a new fuel cards service.

I should Koko: Cadbury launches premium chocs

Cadbury this month launches its new premium chocolates aimed at the female gifting market.

Lucozade nets footie

Lucozade Sport is, once again, the Official Sports Drink of the Barclays Premier League.

Easy does it

The Easy-fill can is the invention of brothers Richard and Jim George, of Worcestershire-based company Easy-Fill Ltd.

Voltz extreme event

Voltz Energy Shot drink is running a competition where consumers can win tickets to Europe's biggest extreme sports and music festival White Air 09. The event takes place in Brighton this month and entrants must submit a photo of themselves with a Voltz 5 hour energy shot drink in an "extreme situation".

Even bigger wings

Red Bull has revealed plans to roll out its new 473ml can to the wholesale channel.

Best of British at UB

UB has launched a limited-edition Pub Grub range to meet what it says is a growing trend for strong British flavours.

Firestar Energy boost

Firestar Energy Booster has been launched as an alternative to Red Bull and other energy drinks. The product is a small sachet of sherbet crystals that consumers eat - and requires no water or chilling.

Paw Ridge for kids

Quaker has launched a new porridge aimed at children. Paw Ridge is designed to be a healthy but convenient option. The oat-based breakfast product comes in individual sachets which can be microwaved in 90 seconds.

Stub it out in style

Imperial Tobacco has introduced the ButtsOut personal ash tray (rrp 99p).

The heat is on

Kepak Convenience Foods has launched Rustlers Hot Subs. The range has two variants: southern fried chicken with creamy mayo and tangy meatballs with tomato & herb sauce. Rrp is £1.99.

Limited edition for JTI

JTI has launched three limited-edition designs for its Amber Leaf roll-your-own tobacco 12.5g flip-top pack. The packs will be available until the end of the month.

Crême de la crême

Scandinavian Tobacco has added an arome variant to its Café Crême Express range of miniature cigars. It joins blue and original. All have a rrp of £3.29.