Forecourt Trader
Shell expands Waitrose trial

Shell has expanded its trial with Waitrose to include its convenience products at three more sites. Shell UK Oil Products Limited (Shell), which

Texaco cleans up with mural campaign

Specialist media agency Ambient Media is running a reverse graffiti ad campaign for Texaco in Cardiff over the next two

Jet's winners Aim Hi

Jet has announced the winners of its annual Aim Hi awards, which recognise dealers’ commitment to offering friendly, efficient and safe service in the local community.

Get your ACS Summit tickets

Tickets are available for the ACS Summit taking place on May 5th at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole. The Summit is the ACS's flagship event which it says is the biggest of its kind in the convenience sector.

New warning over Business Rates

RMI Petrol is urging retailers to continue stepping up the pressure on their MPs as the April 1st deadline approaches for business rates.

MRH in reported talks for Irish sites

MRH (GB) Ltd is believed to be in talks with Chevron to buy more than 20 of its company-owned Texaco sites in the Republic of Ireland. According to a report in The Irish Times, talks between

30th anniversary for FPS Exhibition in April

Oil distribution event FPS EXPO 2010 is being held at the Harrogate International Centre on April 21st and 2nd.  It will be the 30th anniversary of the event. More

Wilcomatic signs Euro Garages deal

Wilcomatic has been awarded the maintenance of all Euro Garages’ Washtec, Christ and Ceccato car washes. According to Wilcomatic , the move to

£20m in fees to be repaid in music licensing battle

A consortium of businesses including ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has claimed a victory for shops today after an appeal from the music licensing body PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) was rejected by the high court.

Business Rates issue gains strength

RMI Petrol's campaign to step up pressure on the government over Business Rates is gathering support from MPs. A total of 41 MPs have now signed the Early Day Motion

Judicial review sought by Imperial Tobacco subsidiary

Imperial Tobacco Group's subsidiary cigarette vending machine company, Wolverhampton-based Sinclair Collis, is seeking a judicial review of the relevant sections of the Health Act 2009, which

Strong sales forecast for motorcycles and scooters

The motorcycle and scooter market is riding high as new research from Mintel predicts that sales of new machines will rise strongly over the next five years.

Variable forecourt offer confuses shoppers

Shoppers have become confused over what to expect from forecourts and it’s likely to be costing the industry footfall and sales, according to Mike Greene, CEO at him! research & consulting.

Gulf forecourt raises funds for rescue teams

Hundreds of residents in the market town of Cockermouth had to be rescued from their homes during the floods that hit Cumbria during November 2009. Robin Benn, proprietor of the

ACS warns against weakened Ombudsman

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has warned of the risks of weakening the powers and independence of the proposed Grocery Ombudsman, and has urged ministers to implement

Shell reports steep drop in earnings

Royal Dutch Shell said today the sale of its Ellesmere Port refinery to Indian conglomerate Essar Energy was still under review after reporting a steep

BP sees profits surge in Q4

BP has reported a surge in profits for the fourth quarter of 2009. The oil giant said profits surged by 70% to $4.4 billion (£2.8 billion) in the last three months of the year, compared with a loss of $3.3 billion (£2 billion) for the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, for the full year, profits were down 45% at $14 billion (£8.7 billion). According to BP,

Getting down to business

There is real momentum gathering over the issue of the business rates revaluation, and credit must go to the new man giving the 'formerly-known-as-PRA' organisation a good kick in the rear. Brian Madderson is breathing life into the argument that the revaluation calculations are based on unrepresentative data ie from high-volume oil company-owned sites and supermarkets, not the average independent retailing operation, which sells less than 2.5mlpa, and turns over £8,000 a week in a 59sq m shop (according to data from Experian Catalist). Hardly comparable to the figures achieved by the supermarkets.He is spreading the word through lobbying MPs, the media and meetings with staff at the Valuation Office Agency.

MPs back rates issue

RMI Petrol has called on retailers to get their MPs to support its business rates challenge. Brian Madderson, RMI Petrol chairman, has been leading the charge against the methodology used by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in its recent revaluations after retailers

Best in show

There was one thing the rural and motorway entrants to the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards 2009 had in common very high standards. Yet again the sites that stood out showed that the retailers knew their market and were prepared to change, grow and do all they could to cater for this market.

Three of the best

Best Confectionery Outlet sponsor NestlÉ

Deal time

Cartoon frog moneyboxes, multi-purpose car chargers and luggage scales have all been flying off forecourt shelves in the past year.

No show

The tobacco companies are all in agreement they're all bitterly disappointed that the government has ignored all the evidence that says a ban on tobacco displays will have no impact on young people smoking. The impact it will have however is on retailers and in a negative way financially in terms of compliance, and logistically in terms of queues of people waiting as staff search for tobacco products that have been hidden away.

Full of beans

Chocolate's been in the news a lot lately with Kraft's bid for Cadbury and the placing of the story so far up the news' lists reflects UK consumers' love of the stuff.

Drivers relax over fuel prices

Car owners appear to have a more relaxed attitude to car use and fuel purchasing than they did in July 2008, when fuel prices were at their peak, according to a consumer survey by research company Key Note. Comparing the results of its latest survey which

Oil companies fail to meet RTFO

Major oil companies have failed to demonstrate the sustainability of their biofuels, according to the Renewable Fuels Agency, in its latest report on the impacts of the biofuel supplied in the first year of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The report

in brief

Euro Garages' big spend

Harvest Energy's big presence at IFFE 2010

Harvest Energy, which opened its ninth branded site just before Christmas and will be opening its 10th shortly, will be hard to miss at this year's International Forecourt & Fuel Equipment Exhibition (IFFE). That's because the oil company

Big deal for Simply Coffee and Murco

Simply Coffee has signed a three-year contract with Murco to provide premium coffee to 130 of its refitted sites. This

Co-op chiefs say thank you to staff

Co-op staff have been thanked for their sterling efforts in coping with the recent bad weather by the company's

Barclaycard Freedom

Barclaycard is to launch a new loyalty scheme Freedom in March, describing it as the broadest retail rewards scheme the UK has ever known.

Results of this month's online poll:

Have you taken action to complain to the relevant parties about the new business rates scheme?

Make your voice heard

Retailers have been urged to keep up the pressure on MPs as the debate rages over the proposed increases in Business Rates. RMI Petrol said the Valuation

In the surgery this month – Newport Service Station, Swindon

GENERAL APPEARANCE: In the centre of Old Town, Swindon, the Newport Service Station close to a large Co-op supermarket is easy to see thanks to its attractive Harvest Energy branding.

Sterling work

If you're in deep water...

Fuel Prices - January 26, 2010
Help and advice from jac roper

Nothing up front and no back up

Question time with james lowman

Since the start of the year it seems like not a day has gone by without a political pronouncement on alcohol policy. With the pre-General Election campaign well under way, this to-ing and fro-ing shows no sign of let-up. ACS cuts through the talk and answers the key questions about what this all means for forecourt retailers.

State-of-the-art car wash at Harwoods

WashTec has recently installed a state-of-the art SoftCare2 Pro car wash at the Harwoods Group's Texaco site on the Isle of Wight. The car wash has a number of new features including oscillating high-pressure jets, 21-inch wheel washers and a 270-degree revolving roof, high-pressure jet and drying system.

Durapipe milestone

Durapipe UK is celebrating its milestone 1,000th forecourt project with one of the UK's leading forecourt suppliers, D Berry & Co Ltd this month.

Slippery customers

The recent icy weather has caused no end of problems for businesses and organisations as staff and customers have battled against the elements. However, the problems have not ended at the front door. As snow is brought in by those who have managed to get across the threshold, hard surfaces can become dangerously slippery and cause a potential health and safety risk.

Fairbanks' big coup

Fairbanks, the wetstock management specialist, has announced that following the successful re-signing of its contract for BP company-owned and dealer sites, the expansion of its MRH contract and securing the Tesco PFS contract during 2009, it has been engaged by Murco Petroleum to provide wetstock monitoring, SIR-based leak detection and pump calibration audits on the company-owned network of 230 sites.

Mintel report shows Brits are big cereal spenders

Breakfast is a major focus of the day for British consumers, who spent £1.7bn on breakfast cereal in the past year, according to research company Mintel. And with 87% of adults in the UK eating cold breakfast cereal on at least a daily basis, it estimates the market will grow to £2.2bn by 2014.

Fairy reaches big 50

The leading dish-care brand Fairy is 50 years old this year, and to celebrate Procter & Gamble is introducing a limited edition of the iconic white bottle. A heavyweight marketing campaign spanning print, online, in-store and TV kicks off this month, and is expected to trigger a clamour for the anniversary bottles, which are priced at £1.20.

JTI's Sterling work

JTI is strengthening its number one value range offering with the launch of Sterling Menthol king size 20s. Available nationally in all retail channels from this month, the new variant responds to the rising demand of menthol cigarettes and adult smokers seeking value for money.

Panadol advances

Panadol Advance tablets will be back on national TV this month with screenings on both terrestrial and satellite stations through to March 7, representing a £500,000 investment for the first quarter. The 'Visible Man' ad, which uses a real man and woman, combined with computer graphics, has been updated to highlight Panadol's recent award as Pain Relief Product of the Year 2010 win. It also demonstrates how the Optizorb disintegration system used in Panadol Advance disperses in the stomach up to five times faster than ordinary paracetamol, allowing the paracetamol to reach the bloodstream more quickly.

Drop kick sales driver

Scott's Porage, Scotland's number one porridge, is launching a series of limited-edition packs to celebrate a partnership between Scotts Porage Oats and the Scottish Rugby Union.

Bubbling over

The introduction of Galaxy Bubbles this month will be supported by a £2.5m launch spend.

Cadbury price boost

Cadbury is launching a 45p rrp on-pack price promotion from this month for a limited period. The promotion will run across single bars of Crunchie, Double Decker, Twirl and Boost.

Premier's TV recipe

Premier Foods, the UK's largest food company, has signed a new deal for its Asian brand Sharwoods to fund Chinese Food in Minutes, a 13-episode cookery series to be broadcast on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Channel Five.