Forecourt Trader
Chancellor hints at scrapping fuel duty rise in April

Confusion is mounting as retailers and motorists receive mixed messages from the government about what it intends to do about continually rising fuel prices.

IFFE is a must for indies

The launch of Indie 5000, the project that targets single-site dealers or those with a handful of sites, is backed by an industry dinner at IFFE 2011 on Sunday February 27 as well as special presentations at the show. These include:

PayPoint launches Christmas savings scheme

PayPoint retailers are now able to compete with the major supermarket groups for their customers’ Christmas savings. Almost 4,000 PayPoint retailers have already signed up to offer the new and valuable savings service to their local community, which, as well as the commission, also earns them an annual bonus of up to 1.25% on the total amount saved per customer.

Staff turn blind eye to retail crime

One in 10 retail employees has committed a crime or failed to report a crime committed by colleagues against their employer in the last 12 months, reveals new research by G4S Secure Solutions.

Tobacco display ban is delayed in Scotland

Scotland’s implementation of the tobacco display ban, due to come into force for larger retailers on October 1, will be delayed because of an ongoing legal challenge.

High fuel prices put charities at risk

Volunteer drivers say the cost of fuel is putting charities at risk. Charity chiefs in Leicestershire have been warned by drivers that the 40p per mile allowance cannot now cover the total cost of using their own cars. Anymore than 40p is liable for tax.

Forecourt propery market shows resilience

Average convenience retail property prices in the UK increased by 2.1% during 2010, compared to a decline of 9.8% in 2009, with forecourts proving particularly resilient, according to Christie & Co’s latest Business Outlook publication.

Get behind Sun campaign to cut fuel duty, urges RMIP

RMI Petrol is urging fuel retailers to get behind The Sun's campaign to reduce fuel tax, following confirmation that the proposed fuel duty rise on April 1, could add 4-5p to a litre of fuel.

Dates released for Automechanika 2012

Messe Frankfurt has decided to bring forward Automechanika Frankfurt 2012 by one week to avoid clashing with the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show.
This means the comprehensive automotive industry trade fair, which includes service station and car wash exhibitions, will now take place in Frankfurt am Main from September 11 to 16, 2012.

New upgrade work planned for family-run Tebay North services

Project management and design practice the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has sealed a second contract with service station group Westmorland Limited.

Top Indie Park Garage opts for exclusive battery supply deal

One of the UK’s biggest independent forecourt chains, Park Garage Group (PGG), has chosen Varta Consumer Batteries as its sole battery supplier as part of an exclusive contract. PGG will stock Varta’s High Energy range of alkaline batteries as well as a selection of specialist battery and promotional products at all of the 93 Park & Shop sites nationally.

Tesco tops survey as nation's favourite fuel retailer

Supermarket giant Tesco is the UK’s favourite fuel retailer according to a new survey of motorists conducted by independent market analyst, Datamonitor.

FWD slams missed opportunity on below-cost sales

The Government has missed an opportunity to impose a realistic ban on the sale of below-cost alcohol, as the definition of the cost of alcoholic drinks announced on Monday will do nothing to prevent the very cheap supermarket promotions that such a ban is intended to address, says the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD).

Shell concept lubricant achieves 6.5% fuel economy benefit

A collaboration between research teams at Shell and Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has led to the development of an innovative concept engine lubricant, which is said to be capable of achieving a 6.5% improvement in fuel efficiency,

Minister opens eco site in Northern Ireland

Minister of the Environment Edwin Poots officially opened the new eco-friendly Spar forecourt in Lagan Valley – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Former Asda CEO joins Euro Garages

Top 50 Indie Euro Garages has appointed the former chairman and CEO of ASDA as executive chairman.

Media frenzy pressures government over fuel duty

Soaring fuel prices have hit the headlines this week, as the national press get behind the RMI Petrol's campaign to cancel the next fuel duty increase due on April 1. With prices rising to record levels on a daily basis, RMIP chairman Brian Madderson has this week written again to Chancellor George Osborne – following no response to his letters in November and December.

New year resolution

Happy New Year although what a start as increases in VAT and fuel tax conspire with rising crude prices to send fuel prices rocketing to new record averages almost on a daily basis.

'Perfect storm' triggering record fuel price rises

As fuel prices continue to soar following the new year's 1ppl fuel duty hike, 2.5% rise in VAT and rising oil prices, RMI Petrol's chairman Brian Madderson, continued to beat the drum of the independent petrol retailer with another high-profile TV interview on January 6.

Bio control

Biofuels are here to stay and they're giving some retailers one almighty headache. Contamination primarily caused by water in unleaded and bugs in diesel tanks and pipes has sparked spates of vehicles breaking down, leaving retailers to deal with the consequences.

Worth a mint

It may be one of the most impulsive categories in forecourt stores but the mints and gum category hasn't been without its share of problems. An influx of product development and lack of focus sent the category into decline for a while, but 2010 saw a return to growth.

Fraser Group opens sixth forecourt despite the freeze

Former Forecourt Trader of the Year, the Fraser Group, has opened its sixth forecourt and first site with a Budgens store.

Big brands at IFFE 2011

Many of the biggest names in the petrol retailing business have already confirmed their presence at IFFE 2011, which takes place from Sunday February 27 through to Tuesday March 1 at the NEC Birmingham.

US report on Gulf blast

Better management could have prevented the Gulf of Mexico oil well disaster in which 11 people died last April, according to a US government report.

Tesco bans hand washes

Tesco has confirmed that it has banned all hand car washing from its car parks nationwide, but not as a direct result of campaigning by the Car Wash Association.

Trend for convenience beats grocery sector

The £32.1bn UK convenience sector will continue to outperform the grocery market and is projected to increase sales by 5.8% a year to £42.6bn in 2015, according to the latest figures released by food and grocery analyst IGD.

BOSS scheme nets thief

The recent arrest of a fuel thief highlighted the value of the partnership between Strathclyde Police and the British Oil Security Syndicate.

Sickness as fuel escapes

Environmental health teams and fire-fighters were called in when over 50 homes were filled with petrol fumes after 600 litres of fuel escaped from a tank at the Total filling station in Glenfield Road, Leicester.

Nisa Local store is star of new TV ads

An independent forecourt in the North East of England has become the location for Nisa-Today's first ever TV advert.

P&H named top supplier

Palmer and Harvey (P&H) has been named Supplier of the Year by top 50 indie Park Garage Group.

Results of this month's online poll:

Does the success of RMI Petrol's year-long campaign to achieve reductions to business rates, make you more inclined to sign up to the organisation as a member?

in brief


2011 - here we come

James Lowman,chief executive, ACS

Molineux S/Station, Wolverhampton

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Molineux Service Station is situated at a great location on the A449 a main route between Wolverhampton, the M54 and Stafford. And this busy site is clearly identified by its Texaco/Lifestyle Express pole.

New Year, new VAT rate

Brace yourself for the New Year...

Jac starts 2011 with lots of sound advice and tips to get you through the year


Under pressure

Bearing the signage of a successful global brand can bring huge benefits to any retail environment. A company like BP, for example, represents a known quantity, with known values, and displaying its brand on a forecourt can therefore be a great boost to business.

Community best

We catch up with the four winners of the Forecourt Trader of the Year Neighbourhood Store category.

Three of a kind


Sales force

Ask property agents what the forecourt property market is like at the moment and you'll get a mixed response. Anything from "fairly slow" to "relatively buoyant".

New K9000 offers dogs a more comfortable wash

The K9000 Dog Wash, which was launched at Automechanika in Germany last autumn, is now available in the UK from Dognostic Ltd. It will be on show at IFFE in Birmingham next month.

New Sentinel size

Signwaves has added a new A0 size Sentinel poster unit to fill the size gap between its existing 30" x 40" and 40" x 60" Sentinels. The company says some of the biggest names in retail use Sentinel to be their 'silent salesman'. Product design manager at Signwaves, Simon Harvey, says: "Having done several 'custom' design projects for customers wanting a high-spec A0 poster sign, introducing a standard option was the next logical step. With six years solid service, Sentinel has proved itself to be an extremely powerful promotional tool. And now with three standard sizes to choose from, we're very confident Sentinel can help even more brands and retailers drive footfall and sales in store."

POS that caters for all

Gardiff has launched the Fedelta foodservice pos system in the UK. Fedelta POS can cater for a wide range of catering establishments from quick service to fine dining. Table & Tab management and Pick-up & Delivery are just two of the modes available. Support is provided for the ordering of quick-touch items with full lead-through options such as up-selling prompts. The screen layout can also be programmed to change depending on the time of day or day of the week. You can also decide exactly what staff can and can't access. User identification can be determined by PIN number or magnetic swipe card.

Tchibo win for Aleef

Tchibo recently won a three-year contract with Aleef forecourts nationwide which means that now all 23 Aleef forecourts have Tchibo bean-to-cup coffee machines either the Coffea Gourmet or Coffea Choc.

OPW on YouTube

OPW Fuelling Components has launched its new YouTube channel, which can be found at

Hula Hoops joins Britain's Got Talent in new promo

Next month will see UB's Hula Hoops join up with the Britain's Got Talent TV show for an on-pack promotion. Running across the entire Hula Hoops range, the promotion gives consumers the chance to win a free talent lesson by simply entering their pack code on the snack's website ( In addition, consumers get the chance to win a '£10,000 ticket to stardom' by creating their own Hula Hoops-themed video and uploading it to the website. The activity will be backed by TV advertising.

Pall Mall rolls out

BAT says the launch of Pall Mall roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco meets the growing demand for a value-for-money quality tobacco from an internationally-recognised brand.

Extra mouth sensation

Next month will see the relaunch of Wrigley's Extra Ice peppermint and spearmint gum to include micro-granules, product speckles and xylitol. The changes are designed to give a pleasant 'in-mouth sensation' and help prevent plaque.

Sandwich solutions

New from Warburtons are Square-ish Wraps and Sandwich Thins. These sandwich alternatives have been created to appeal to a younger profile than traditional bakery products.

Bubbly Caramel bar

New Aero Caramel is a bar of bubbly chocolate topped with caramel and encased in smooth milk chocolate. The launch later this month will be supported by a £5m media campaign including TV, outdoor and digital advertising, which forms part of Aero's biggest-ever media spend. Retailers are advised to put Aero caramel on the main fixture next to the milk medium bar, as well as in secondary sitings utilising the new branded point of sale support kit. Rrp for Aero caramel is 56p and it comes in outers of 35.