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Jac Roper looks at petrol pricing; the growing importance of the shop; and equipment
27 June, 2011

Tony Barlow, whose Local Service Station trades in beautiful Shrewsbury in Shropshire, puts a real stress on independence and individuality. He has been buying fuel on the open market since 1998 and he wonders why a lot more forecourt retailers don't do the same. "I switched because I was contracted to Butler (a subsidiary of Total) but they fell so far behind it became pointless a one-sided contract," he says.

Star quality
27 June, 2011

Driving onto Station Road in Llandaff North, central Cardiff, it would be hard to miss the James & Jenkins name. The business is a sprawling mix of car dealerships, motor workshop and the Texaco/Mace-branded Tivoli Service Station, together spanning a long stretch of the road.

Liquor law
27 June, 2011

If you want to offer your customers a proper convenience range, that range will include alcohol. However gaining an off licence for a forecourt store is not always easy and rules seem to be changing all the time. For many people, the sale of alcohol on a forecourt is still a contentious issue. Indeed peers in the House of Lords have just dismissed an amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol in forecourts as part of the Committee stage of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.

Chiller instinct
27 June, 2011

According to the Institute of Grocery Distribution's Convenience Retailing 2011 report, chilled food was a star performer in forecourt stores last year.

First impressions
27 June, 2011

When businesses are trading in a difficult economic climate, it's tempting to cut costs wherever possible, but scrimping on the maintenance of your forecourt could prove to be a false economy. Not only will a site start to look tired if basic maintenance isn't carried out, your business could also be exposed to health and safety issues.

A positive approach to life and work is key for Dave
27 June, 2011

A typical day for me always starts with a good healthy breakfast and usually a visit to my local gym, for an hour or so workout. At 53, I have discovered the importance of trying to have a good work-life balance and my daily routine sets me up for the day ahead and keeps me focused and positive.

The deal is done
27 June, 2011

When stories emerged earlier this year about Gerald Ronson being the lead bidder for the Total network, it took the industry by surprise. But even more surprising has been the emergence of Shell as the subsequent buyer of more than half of Total's company-owned sites.

Leading the way
27 June, 2011

Palmer and Harvey has pooled the experience gained over the past 60 years at what it calls "the coalface of the forecourt industry", to produce an in-depth research document on the sector.

Wireless has vital role to play in forecourts' future
27 June, 2011

Wireless technology will have to play a more important role in future forecourt retail technologies, according to Peter Harding, a former independent forecourt retailer who has returned to his roots as a technology consultant.

Protection from spills
27 June, 2011

Frankling Fueling Systems (FFS) has launched the Omni Series Break Away Valves and Sight Glasses. Available in standard flow, vapour recovery and high-flow models, they have been designed to ensure protection from hazardous fuel spills and the costly damage caused when vehicles drive away with the nozzle still in the fill-pipe. FFS says each Break Away Valve and Sight Glass is lightweight, compact and allows "seamless installation directly between nozzle and hose". The new range offers multiple thread sizes while several Break Away Valve models included integrated sight glasses. Both products were designed to comply with EN13617.

Following a deal agreed with Harvest Energy, do you think it will be good to see the Total brand returning to UK forecourts?