Forecourt Trader
Private buyers main factor in 12.1% year-on-year increase in new car registrations

UK new car registrations rose 12.1% to 151,252 units in October, bucking current demand trends in Europe, according to the latest figures from the SMMT, which has revised its forecast for the full year to more than two million units, from 1.94 million in 2011.

Reducing carbon footprint important focus for motorists, BCA research reveals

Research conducted among 4,000 motorists for the British Car Auctions 2012 Used Car Market Report shows that reducing their personal motoring carbon footprint has become an important focus for drivers in the past year.

FTA welcomes River Severn Tolls report

The Freight Transport Association is optimistic that there is room for further discussion over the relaxation of tolls at the Severn Crossings, and welcomes the fact that the debate has begun in earnest, following the release of the Welsh Report ‘The Impact of the Severn Tolls on the Welsh Economy'.

Spar trials new retailer mobile marketing scheme

Spar stores in the South West of England are trialling an new mobile marketing scheme set to help retailers communicate with their customers in a new way.

MPs debate Business Rates Revaluation delay

ACS has joined other business groups in calling on MPs to press Ministers to withdraw plans to delay the 2015 rates revaluation in a debate taking place in the House of Commons today (November 5).

Palmer and Harvey managers facing redundancy

Many senior managers are facing redundancy at leading wholesaler Palmer and Harvey, as the Brighton-based organisation conducts a fundamental review of its management structure.

Fuel efficient tyres could save firms £500m a year, says Energy Saving Trust

UK businesses could reduce fuel costs by up to £500m a year if they fitted more fuel-efficient tyres on their company vehicles, according to new research by the Energy Saving Trust.

Fairbanks to launch ‘plant a tree’ project

Fairbanks will be launching an innovative ‘plant a tree’ project at APEA Live 2012’s awards dinner, which the wetstock monitoring company is sponsoring next week.

Dismay at claims that rates delay would benefit forecourts

Petrol stations would be among 800,000 premises to see a rise in business rates if revaluations stick to the 2015 date, a government Minister has claimed in a Westminster Hall debate this week.

Greenergy expands with new fuel supply operation in Canada

Greenergy, the UK’s leading supplier of gasoline and diesel, is to begin supplying diesel, gasoline and biofuel in Southwestern Ontario, in the second quarter of 2013.

Concern over two-year delay in rates revaluation

The Association of Convenience Stores has expressed concern over the announcement that Ministers intends to delay the 2015 Rates Revaluation by two years.

Engineers create carbon-neutral petrol from air

Air capture technology, which scrubs carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air, has the potential to become a 'game-changer' in the battle against climate change, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

FPS launches fuel certification scheme

Commercial fuel oil storage is now subject to greater scrutiny with the introduction of a fuel certification scheme by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS).

Drivers cut back to keep car

The increasing costs of running a car are forcing nearly three quarters of drivers (70%) to make cut-backs to their outgoings to keep themselves motoring, according to research by

Progress for fuel tax transparency

A second reading of Robert Halfon MP's Private Members Bill demanding fuel tax transparency is scheduled for November 30.

in brief

Esso signs Chartman

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you think the exceptionally big fall in fuel sales between April and June was due to unusual circumstances such as the tanker driver threat bringing sales forward and bad summer weather, or a sharply increasing downward trend?

Motor Fuel Group signs deal with Costcutter

Top 50 Indie Motor Fuel Group (MFG) has signed a new shop supply agreement with Costcutter Supermarkets Group. The deal will replace its existing shop agreement with Palmer and Harvey, and between now and the end of March next year, MFG will introduce the latest Costcutter imagery across its 48-forecourt network as part of a fast-moving shop refit programme.

Exelby Services gets go long last

Top 50 Indie and truck stop operator Exelby Services has been given the official go-ahead for a new £5m state-of-the-art site at Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire. Local authority planning approval was granted back in August 2010 but following the upgrade of the A1 to motorway status the plans were included in the lengthy planning inquiry into the location for a new motorway service area between Wetherby and Scotch Corner.

chris Hunt

Well, the Olympic Games have come and gone since the last column I wrote, and most commentators have judged them to have been a huge success. That was certainly my personal experience and it is gratifying to know that we can do things well in this country. Even the weather behaved itself for most of the time!

New face of Spar launched in Lancs

Spar is trialling a fresh new era in store design with the launch of what it describes as an "innovative and modern flagship store that paves the way in convenience excellence".

Fundraising and fun

Staff and customers at Winford Road Garage near Bristol have celebrated the business' 45th anniversary with a day of fun.

News Extra: Station rationalisation

Widespread economic uncertainty coupled with soaring oil prices has seen fuel consumption decline since 2008, leading international oil companies to review their service station portfolios across Europe and exit unprofitable sites, according to new analysis by CBRE, a property company which advises some of the world's biggest oil companies on their real estate portfolios.

Amscreen installed at UK's biggest forecourt

Digital out-of-home media company Amscreen has installed media screens in Britain's biggest petrol station. The Shell site in Cobham, Surrey features 36 pumps, 141 nozzles and the capacity to serve 3,400 motorists a day. Located on the M25, the forecourt has screens featuring real-time messaging including customer information, live traffic updates, advertising for in-store promotions as well as messages from an extensive range of blue-chip advertisers.

No smoking sign laws have been relaxed

Retailers are being reminded about the new relaxed requirements for 'No Smoking' signs in England. Robert Botkai, partner at Winckworth Sherwood, said: "The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007 have been revoked and replaced with the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2012." Before October 1, 2012, the 2007 Regulations required that signs displayed on smoke-free premises had to be A5 size. The signs also had to contain the standard no smoking symbol and the text: 'No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises'.

WashTec winners

To celebrate winning the prestigious RoSPA President's Award, WashTec organised a company-wide internal health and safety competition, where the winners were invited to visit the Automechanika trade fair in Frankfurt followed by a trip to WashTec's world headquarters and manufacturing facility in Augsburg.

Fuel on a pedestal

OPW Fuel Management Systems has launched Petro Vend 100, a standalone, pedestal-mounted fuel-control system which is said to be ideal for small- or mid-sized fleet operators who require one- or two-hose control at their unattended fuelling sites.

Petroman clarification

Petroman would like to clarify that the recent agreement with OPW Fuelling Components EMEA to market Petroman's Total Vapour Solution (TVS) system comprising the Accumulus, Softfill and Vapour Management Panel does not cover The UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada or the US, where Petroman retains all its marketing and manufacturing rights.

Valid ID system helps with age-related purchases

Auto Time Solutions is launching Valid ID, a Windows-based application system that assists retailers in the transaction of age-related sales of cigarettes and alcohol.

MRH upgrades wash

Following a recent trial, number-one indie MRH Retail has ordered 29 N'joywash machines from Istobal. During the 12-week trial, the N'joywash jet wash was measured against other manufacturers, assessing customer satisfaction, ease of use, reliability, looks and design, revenue generation, service back-up, and price. Andrew Jackson, general manager from MRH, said: "We are very pleased with the equipment we have installed so far and have seen significant gains in revenue and reliability compared to our other equipment."

A Capital contract

Murco Petroleum has recently awarded a two-year nationwide contract to Capital Cooling to provide preventative maintenance, servicing and repairs for refrigeration and air conditioning on all of its 230 company-owned stations.

Peter Harding

Digital signage takes many forms and you only have to look down the high street to see what is happening. The quality of displays is terrific. The frontage of a new store in my local shopping mall is one massive display screen. Now while they are only promoting the store brand at present, how long before they are displaying full brand and product advertising? The image quality is superb.

Awards Focus: All's swell at Wells

A winning team mentality was how the Top 50 Indie Symonds Forecourts described its approach to business in its entry for this year's Forecourt Trader of the Year awards. And how prophetic that turned out to be. The group's site in the city of Wells, Somerset, was judged to be the best site in West Country & Wales (2.5mlpa plus category), and ultimately won the industry's most prestigious prize.

Premier target

Wholesale symbol group Premier is setting its sights on the forecourt sector with a new bespoke offer for petrol retailers. With 2,735 stores, Premier is the biggest symbol group in the UK, growing by 9% this year, following nine years of double-digit growth. It currently supplies just under 100 forecourt retailers, but is looking to the sector to help it achieve its goal of becoming a £1bn symbol business.

Focus on Security: Close protection

It would be logical to place the blame for a rise in forecourt crime on soaring fuel prices, but according to the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), there are wider factors at work.

Focus on Food to Go: Hot, hot, hot

Offering hot food-to-go in your forecourt store might sound like too much hassle, but it seems it's a big turn-on for customers.

Coca-Cola is a £185m seasonal sales winner

Soft drinks were a winner last Christmas with growth of 10.3% and sales reaching £1.1bn, which was up nearly £100m (Nielsen).

Diageo adds colour to Christmas time

Diageo is launching a new in-store media campaign to encourage shoppers to serve more exciting drinks over the festive season. The 'Add Colour to Christmas' campaign is designed to challenge beer and wine as the default at-home drinks choice over the crucial festive period.

Thaw and serve trio

Country Choice has unveiled three new 'thaw and serve' lines for Christmas. These are: a star mince pie shortcrust base with mincemeat filling and a pastry star on top; Christmas cookie chocolate-flavoured cookie with chunks of white Belgian chocolate and cranberry pieces; and a Christmas cake slice rich fruit cake topped with marzipan, white icing and an edible holly decoration.

Biscuits for everyone

Burton's Biscuit Company has unveiled its Cadbury Christmas range which includes family sharing packs and novelties.

Snacks to stack

KP Snacks' research into consumer purchasing habits reveals that shoppers buy snacks roughly twice over the holiday season while existing consumers who already have snacks in their weekly basket buy even more.

Jingle Pringles

Pringles has festive artwork across its original, sour cream & onion, salt & vinegar and Texas BBQ cans. Christmas turkey and sausage & crispy bacon variants have also returned to the range following record sales for the brand last Christmas. Fiachra Moloney, Pringles marketing manager UK and Ireland, said: "Pringles is especially important at Christmas when it is served and consumed by a huge 44% of UK households (TNS). Forty per cent of annual Pringles sales are made around this time of year and the brand will be supported with a strong national marketing campaign on TV and digital so it represents a great opportunity for increased snacks sales and profits."

A touch of glamour

Britvic is re-introducing its limited-edition J2O glitter berry variant to "add a touch of glamour" to the adult soft drinks market and drive sales for retailers over the winter party season.

Packing a punch

Shloer berry punch limited edition is back following its huge success last year. In the 12 weeks leading up to last Christmas, Shloer sales increased by 12% adding an extra £1.4m to the value of the adult soft drink category. The berry punch limited edition accounted for 72% of those incremental sales (Nielsen data).

The slice is right

In line with growing consumer desire for convenient, on-the-go snacks, Cuisine de France is introducing an individually wrapped Christmas mincemeat, cranberry & almond slice.

Limited editions

JTI is introducing three limited- edition Hamlet tins for large whiff fives and miniature fives and 10s. Each features 'manly knowledge' designs printed directly inside the inner lids.

Kitted out

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is offering convenience retailers new point-of-sale kits and adaptable shipper units to help maximise visibility this Christmas.

Turkey treats

Mars Petcare's Christmas line-up includes seasonal editions of Pedigree Jumbone and Schmackos in a festive turkey variety. There are also advent calendars and stockings.

Follow the snowman

A new text-to-win on-pack promotion on Irn-Bru gives consumers the chance to re-trace the snowman's journey through Scotland from its festive TV commercial.

shop talk

Convenience stores have a lot to live up to by their very names ie everything about them needs to be convenient. So that includes their location, their store layout, their range, their service you get the picture. But do you think your customers expect too much from you or have you got it just about right?