Forecourt Trader
Seaside town could get its first forecourt for five years

Councillors in Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk are hoping the seaside town will get its first forecourt for more than five years.

Fair Fuel UK to stage mass tweet for lower fuel prices while lobbying MPs at Westminster

Fuel price campaigner Fair Fuel UK is encouraging a ‘mass tweet’ on Twitter at 1pm today, calling for lower petrol and diesel prices.

TaxPayers’ Alliance backs campaign to cut fuel duty

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has lent its support to Fair Fuel UK’s campaign to cut fuel duty, which has seen the campaigning group hold a mass lobby of MPs at Westminster today.

New training scheme helps forecourt staff tackle crime

A training manual to help cashiers tackle crime on the forecourt has been launched by new company Counter Crime.

Days are numbered for miles per gallon measurement, says AA

Measuring fuel consumption in miles per gallon (mpg) when fuel is sold in litres could be gone within a generation, AA research suggests.

Record fuel prices hit breakdowns and road safety, says AA

With the price of diesel and petrol hitting record highs – 144.92ppl and 137.79ppl today – many drivers are putting off essential maintenance and servicing on their vehicles leading to an increase in some breakdowns, says the AA.

Forecourts improve age check pass rates

Forecourt retailers have made great improvements in preventing underage sales of alcohol, according to latest statistical analysis from Serve Legal.

Petroplus administrators set out proposals for Coryton

The administrators of Coryton refinery owner Petroplus have told creditors that if refinancing and restructuring is not possible, a sale of the Essex refinery and closure are being explored as alternatives.

Price of petrol hits record high

The average price of petrol has reached a record high of 137.44ppl today, exceeding the last peak of 137.43ppl recorded on May 9 last year.

Musgrave aims to deliver €1bn in own-brand sales by 2014

The Musgrave Group has launched a group-wide strategy across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, which aims to deliver one billion euro in own-brand sales by 2014.

MP questions PM on business rates rise

Local shops urged the Prime Minister to go further to reduce the burden of business rates following his statement to the House of Commons yesterday.

Merril Boulton: Pricing woes

It was the perfect moment to make a submission to the Office of Fair Trading for an investigation into the UK fuels market. Diesel prices have hit record levels, crude prices are on their way up, refineries are faltering and putting pressure on supply; and independent fuel retailers are struggling to compete with the likes of Morrisons offering 15ppl discount.

Calls to cut fuel duty as diesel hits a record high

The government is under intense pressure from the fuel and motoring industies to tackle fuel duty and soaring fuel prices, as diesel hit a record high last month.

Drought threatens car wash

Water shortages will impact service stations far more than any unregulated hand car wash operator, according to David Charman, chairman of the Car Wash Assocation (CWA).

Subway eyes new stores

Subway has set out ambitious plans to increase the number of stores in the UK and Ireland to 2,000 over the next three years, with non-traditional locations such as forecourts leading the growth.

Unite warning to oil majors

RMI Petrol signs Top 50 indie groups

RMI Petrol has won the support of three more Top 50 Indies with Rontec, Motor Fuel Group and Symonds Forecourts all signing up as members in the past month.

Coryton crude supplies secure for three months

The administrators of Petroplus' Coryton refinery in Essex signed a 'tolling agreement' on February 15, securing crude oil supplies for three months.

in brief

Supermarket fuel sweep

Biofuel targets must be scrapped, say charities

Car drivers in the UK will pay up to £2bn more on the forecourt in 2020 if the government decides to increase the proportion of biofuels in petrol, according to new research commissioned by ActionAid and Friends of the Earth, undertaken by the Global Subsidies Initiative.

Brian Madderson

The deferred fuel duty rise due on August 1 will increase retail prices by 4ppl after 20% VAT is added, which will take £2bn out of the pockets of consumers. This will be bad for inflation, bad for household budgets, bad for the economy and bad for our members who are already suffering from both volume and margin decline. We have called on the Chancellor to abandon this increase and again cut duty in the Budget this month.

Clumsy thief gets six years

A robber who launched himself through an after-hours serving hatch in a bungled forecourt raid has been jailed for six years.

PPG's bag scheme

Top 50 Indie Park Garage Group has pledged its support to cancer charity CLIC Sargent with a new charging scheme for plastic carrier bags.

More connection in future stores

Shops and people will be connected to each other more than ever in the store of the future, according to research by food and grocery expert IGD.

Specialise to survive

Independents can fight back against the onslaught of the supermarkets by playing to existing strengths and creating new ones, says independent retail analysts Verdict as it outlines strategies for survival for independent retailers.

Over to you, OFT

The momentum had been gathering for some time. And at the appropriate moment RMI Petrol made its submission to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for an inquiry into the UK fuels market. It must respond within 30 days.

Shop Doctor: Tesco Express, Lodge Road, Portswood, Southampton

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Portswood is just north of Southampton city centre and the Tesco Express is in a densely populated area. The site is clearly identified by an Esso/Tesco Express pole.

Money for nothing? Or a value-for-money service?

The conversation started in a friendly enough way. The caller was a regular reader of Forecourt Trader and was quite complementary about the way this column regularly drew attention to some of the financial problems that affect retailers, especially the difficulties arising almost as casual by-products of fuel price inflation.

Jac advises on cash flow and rates - and talks up a lovely location

Cash flow probs anyone?


This year has started well for the car wash industry the very cold weather and snow always stimulates tremendous demand to clear the salt and grit from every part of the car. However, the dark clouds are gathering (or not!) as the extremely dry weather last year has caused our rivers, reservoirs and aquifers to dry up. As I write, Water Authorities are seeking ministerial approval for Drought Orders. Widespread bans on water usage seem inevitable throughout much of England this summer, and the CWA plans to mitigate the impact on the car wash industry.

Brulines moves Brobot to real-time fuel monitoring

Brulines Fuel Solutions (BFS) has concluded a contract with Top 50 Indie Brobot Petroleum, to move the 23-strong group's fuel monitoring from traditional statistical inventory reconciliation (SIR) to continuous fuel monitoring (CFM).

Payment in the cloud

YESpay and YES-wallet have announced the launch of cloud-based near-field communication (NFC) contactless card emulation services conforming to PayWave and PayPass standards, offering a more convenient and efficient payment solution for retailers and consumers.

New 'non man-entry' tank cleaning service from DP

DP Fuel Tank Services (DP FTS) has introduced an externally operated tank cleaning service that uses a high-pressure water lance featuring a two-way swivel nozzle, .

Yorkon hits 50th site

Off-site construction specialist Yorkon has completed another milestone for Tesco its 50th modular petrol filling station (PFS) building.

Spar epos upgrade

Retail solutions provider Business Computer Projects (BCP) has rolled out an upgraded version of the SparPoS point-of-sale software solution to Spar-branded stores.

Neon retail display

A UK company specialising in point-of-sale marketing has launched a futuristic take on traditional blackboard signs, giving retailers a new way to market to their customers.

Barton in full flow

Aylesbury-based Alpeco has supplied and installed a purpose-made product intake cabinet to Barton Petroleum at its Watford depot to improve stock reconciliation and security.

Best year ever for KPS

Petrol pipework company KPS has hailed 2011 as its best year ever, with more product launches than any other previous year.

Retailer profile: Refuel & Go

It's going to be a big year for Andrew MacDonald. After changing his Top 50 Indie company's name from Sectorsure to Refuel & Go in October last year, the group is poised to kick-start some major forecourt projects for 2012.

A time to shine

oil company initiative

Pies with wings

Peter's Pies is testing a Bull & Red Bull pie with 13,000 consumers. Combining meat with the energy drink, the new pie will be part of a new series of 220g 'specials' at £2.49.

Crunch time for Muller

Muller Dairy has launched Crunch Corner limited-edition single pots in cookies & cream and toffee apple flavours. Available from March until May, the new pots have a rrp of 64p.

Banoffee delight

Flavoured milk brand Frijj has launched a banoffee pie flavour of its indulgent milkshake. The new flavour was chosen by Frijj consumers via social media. A 500ml bottle has a rrp of £1.49

With Love from Cadbury

Burton's Biscuit Company is targeting spring gifting occasions with a 330g limited-edition carton of Cadbury's Fabulous Fingers, featuring a 'With Love' message on-pack

shop talk

've a new-found admiration for till staff. The reason is that I've just started volunteering at my local hospital shop scanning items and operating the till sometimes in quick succession. The scanner definitely has a mind of its own because it keeps scanning me! First I thought it was picking up the silver threads in a scarf I was wearing, but it did it even when I took it off. All very disconcerting and try explaining it to puzzled customers in the queue. And twice now I have tried to charge someone (not the same person) over £50,000 for some crisps and drink. I know it's all for charity, but that seems a bit steep. Anyway, keeping calm when you're making endless cock-ups in front of an audience is something new that I'm having to learn.

Best-ever Pringles

Procter & Gamble is launching "best-ever chip" Pringles which are made using a technique that enables the seasoning to spread across the whole chip. The result is a "more intense and satisfying taste" with every bite. The improvement is highlighted on cans with the message: "Bursting with more flavour".

Price-marked packs

PepsiCo has launched 49p price-marked bags of Walkers in the top five flavours: cheese & onion; ready salted; prawn cocktail; salt & vinegar; and smoky bacon. The company says the core Walkers range is an absolute 'must stock' as it accounts for almost a quarter of crisps and snacks sales in the impulse sector.

Reviving the category

GlaxoSmithKline is launching a sub-brand for Lucozade. Called Lucozade Revive, the company says it will redefine the energy drinks market and drive incremental sales through its naturally invigorating flavours, low-calorie content and credentials as a healthier option.

New Turtle Wax range

Turtle Wax has launched an 18-strong range of products which it says includes "naturally derived waxes, proven technology and clever formulation".

Lion heads new lines

Nestlé Lion bar headlines R&R Ice Cream's 2012 range. Price-marked at £1, the bar comprises toffee ice cream and chewy caramel sauce covered in milk chocolate and crispy wafer pieces. Another new line is the Rolo cone. It was available last year in a take-home pack and was a big success but is now available to impulse retailers. The 120ml cone (recommended retail price £1.10) has caramel and chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce running through it, topped with chocolate pieces.