Forecourt Trader
Sainsbury's kicks off 10ppl fuel promo

Sainsbury’s has kicked off a fuel promotion today giving shoppers 10p off every litre of fuel when they spend £60 or more in store.

Dealer disbelief at Jet withdrawal from southwest

Jet dealers in the southwest have expressed disbelief and disappointment that ConocoPhillips has decided to withdraw from the region by the end of the year, and branded the timescale for exit as inadequate.

Asda cuts fuel prices

Asda has set a national price cap of 128.7ppl for unleaded and 132.7ppl for diesel today, as part of its strategy to be the first retailer to drop pump prices and the last to put them up when wholesale prices fluctuate.

Jet to withdraw from southwest

ConocoPhillips has confirmed that it is withdrawing the Jet brand from the southwest of the UK.

Total network sold to Snax 24 consortium – and Shell buys 254 sites

Rontec Investments LLP, a consortium comprising top 50 Indie Snax 24 and partners Investec and Grovepoint Capital, have today signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire Total’s retail and fuel distribution business in the UK.

Biggest single expansion of UK network as Shell adds 254 sites

Shell UK Ltd's agreement to acquire 254 petrol retail sites in the UK from Rontec Investments LLP (the Snax 24 Consortium)  for a total cash consideration of around $400mln (£240m), is the biggest single expansion of Shell's fuel retailing network in the UK.

Jet sites support '20 is plenty' campaign

Seventy five Jet sites have teamed up with road safety charity Brake to launch Jet’s ‘20 is Plenty’ campaign to improve road safety for children. Jet’s aim is to encourage a community-wide commitment to driving at a maximum speed of 20mph in built up areas.

Tokheim confirms global contract with Shell

Tokheim has been selected as a global supplier of fuel dispensers for Shell service stations. The implementation of the agreement, which will run until 2016, has already started with the first  installations in the Benelux, Germany, Italy and the UK.

ACS to tackle key issues at Forecourt Seminar

The ACS Forecourt Seminar, chaired by Forecourt Trader editor Merril Boulton, aims to give essential insights to forecourt retailers and spark the debate on the most effective ways to succeed in a difficult market.

Blakemore Spar pledges £3m investment

Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has pledged to invest £3m to bring independent retailers savings worth an average of £7,500 per store.

James Hall commits to fresh development

Spar wholesaler James Hall is forging ahead with its plans to promote fresh foods and in-store investment, with a host of new initiatives to help build their business with retailers.

Competition fuels forecourt sales growth

Despite a decline in the number of forecourt stores in the past year, average sales per store increased by 3%, according to the IGD's Convenience Retailing 2011 report. Senior business analyst, David Shukri, told Forecourt Trader: "The 3% increase suggests that those forecourts that remain in the market have continued to show resilience and compete fiercely in a backdrop of economic uncertainty."

Survey says petrol cars still more popular than diesels

Petrol cars still beat diesel models in the popularity stakes despite the typically higher fuel economy of diesel engines, a study of UK motorists shows.

Torex Profit Clinics boost margins

Retail technology provider Torex is launching Profit Clinics to show fuel and convenience retailers how to get the most out of their Torex point-of-sale system and grow their margins.

Drive-offs cost industry dear

Crime on Britain's forecourts cost fuel retailers more than £22m in 2010, up from £19m in 2009, according to figures revealed in the annual forecourt crime survey carried out by the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS). The main source of the estimated total loss is £15.5m resulting from drive-offs, with a further £4.5m lost from motorists claiming to have no means of payment (NMoP) who then fail to return to clear their debt.

'Surprise changes' in fuel market

The forecourt industry will continue to adapt and reinvent itself in response to continued change in the market, according to Arthur Renshaw, Experian Catalist's UK & Ireland manager, in his review of the UK fuel market.

in brief

BP honours Graham

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you feel threatened by the 'unfair' fuel pricing practices of competitive supermarket and oil company sites?

Seven more sites move over to Harvest Energy

Independent forecourt Backwell Motors in Bristol has become the latest site to join the growing network of Harvest Energy-branded forecourts.

Costa Express hits forecourts across the UK

New rebranded Costa Express machines have just started rolling out across the UK following the acquisition of Coffee Nation by Costa owner Whitbread earlier this year.

Londis announces lower-price pledge

Londis pledged to invest £1m to deliver lower prices on key lines for its retailers at its annual conference last month.

Forecourts win awards

A string of awards were presented to forecourt retailers at Palmer & Harvey's Pro-Retail Show gala dinner last month.

Hopcrofts Holt Service Station, Steeple Aston, Bicester, Oxon

GENERAL APPEARANCE: I first reported on this enterprise in Forecourt Trader in January 2005, when I called it "a mid first division site that may struggle to gain promotion to the premier division". Last year I was most interested to learn that the owner had changed symbol groups and was successfully selling a range of local products. So I went back to see how things were progressing.

Big Brother wants lots more answers from you

With most households having had to complete the 2011 Census forms just a couple of months ago, you'd think that the government had obtained enough raw data to keep the number crunchers occupied for at least a couple of years. Unfortunately, as many forecourt retailers have discovered recently, the official hunger for more data is virtually insatiable.

Jac Roper explores best-before and use-by dates, and epos problems


New directions

Forecourt retailers moving into standalone convenience stores has become a popular route in recent years but Peregrine Retail is one up-and-coming operator daring to make the reverse move and venture into the oily business of forecourt retailing.

Dark side to biofuel

The damaging effect on the fuel retailing infrastructure following the government's programme to introduce biofuel into transport fuels was highlighted at an RMI Petrol gathering last month.

Water fight

It was a long, harsh winter but after a warmer-than-average spring and with summer just around the corner, motorists and retailers alike should have plenty of reasons to smile.

Do it yourself

Imperial Tobacco says it is helping fight the illicit tobacco trade with its new JPS make-your-own (MYO) cigarette kit. MYO cigarettes have been available before in the UK but without the backing of a big brand name like JPS. However, don't get too excited just yet as the product was launched into the grocery multiples in March but will not make its way into the independent trade until later in the summer.

Early starters

As with everything in life, you get different answers depending on who you speak to. So, when it comes to breakfast, if you speak to cereal company Kellogg's they say more people are eating breakfast at home to save money. But if you speak to food-to-go specialist Country Choice, they report no evidence of this.

Spar site trials new eco remediation method

Geo2 has completed a forecourt remediation project using a groundbreaking new sustainable method for treating groundwater without added chemicals or solid waste for disposal.

Handheld pump test

Fuel dispenser test equipment provider, Pumpwatch, has launched a lightweight measure unit so retailers can check the accuracy of their pumps between scheduled maintenance visits.

Tokheim wins EMV

Tokheim has won EMV certification in the UK and Spain for its indoor solutions Crypto IPT and FuelPOS, and outdoor payment system Crypto VGA.

MRH appointment

Number-one Indie MRH Retail has awarded waste management specialist, Cleansing Service Group (CSG), a contract to carry out environmental services and maintenance programmes at all of its sites nationwide.

24-hour outdoor shop

The first armoured, automatic 24-hour shop has arrived in the UK from Italian manufacturer Magex.

Five nutty prizes up for grabs

Summer signals a whole host of snack sales opportunities so The Dormen Food Company is turning up the heat with a sizzler of a giveaway.

Make a Rush for this offer

To support the launch of Britvic and PepsiCo's SoBe Pure Rush, Britvic is giving five lucky retailers a share of £250-worth of the new drinks to sell in their stores.

Sample some sweet treats

Kopiko the world's number-one coffee and cappuccino sweet brand is now being sold in forecourts all over the country, following its UK launch earlier this year. The sweets are made with real Java coffee beans for the authentic taste and tempting aroma of genuine coffee.

A bolder, brighter Swan

Republic Technologies (UK) has unveiled a new look, new products and new packaging formats as part of major brand development for the Swan range of roll-your-own (RYO)filters, papers and smoking accessories.

Rarely a dull moment for Jim - at work or home

A little over 23 years ago I left Shell UK to join Murco Petroleum as a business development manager in the South East. Responsible for an area of Murco dealer sites across Kent, Surrey, Sussex and beyond, my first encounter with one larger-than-life customer involved being greeted like a family friend initially, only to be told to clear off rather colourfully all within the space of 20 minutes. Thankfully, this turn of events was due entirely to a 'misunderstanding' with my then boss and introductions to the remainder of my new customers didn't provoke any similar outbursts! However, for me, it was an early lesson learned as to the importance of clear and effective communication and getting relationships right.

Fuel prices - May 27, 2011
ACS welcomes Lords call for changes to Localism Bill

Peers in the House of Lords have supported calls from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) to put retail diversity and sustainable development on the face of the Localism Bill.

Carsley picks CDG for car care

Top 50 Indie Carsley Group has awarded delivered wholesaler Convenience Distribution Group (CDG) a contract to supply car care and lubricant products across its network.

Revamp for forecourt safety passport scheme

A safety passport scheme that has reduced serious and fatal accidents on petrol station forecourts for the last ten years has been refreshed and relaunched.

BP Petrol Forecourt
Contactless payment comes to UK forecourts

BP will be rolling out MasterCard PayPass contactless payments terminals across its forecourts in the UK over the next two years.

Investment pumped into Portadown

A Belfast forecourt has been knocked down and rebuilt in a £1.5m project funded by its owners – B&C Litter – and Ulster Bank.

Chevron launches probe into refinery tragedy

Chevron has launched its own investigation into the explosion at its Pembroke refinery in which four men died. The inquiry will run in tandem with the Health and Safety Executive’s investigation.

Harry Tuffins wins community retailing accolade

Top 50 Indie Harry Tuffins has earned a My Shop is Your Shop Gold Award from the Federation of Wholesale Distributors for its work in the local community.


With the newly re-structured Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards 2011 under way, retailers are rushing to meet today's deadline in the hope of being

Pricing tactics

Concern over 'unfair' or 'predatory' fuel pricing (see News Extra page 10) continues to haunt the independent fuel retailing network, while the lag on Platts pricing embedded in fuel supply deals is becoming another source of great irritation.