Forecourt Trader
Minister urges caution on minimum wage

The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed government evidence to the Low Pay Commission urging caution on future minimum wage increases and their impact on employment.

FTA dismisses fuel report as irrelevant

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has dismissed the OFT report into the fuel supply market saying it will do nothing about the high level fuel duty, which is the real issue affecting retail prices.

Opportunity to influence licensing reform

Businesses have until 6 February to take part in the Government’s consultation on licensing reform.

Euro Garages adds 45 Esso sites

Euro Garages has confirmed the completion of its deal to acquire 45 Esso sites (Forecourt Trader, October).

CCTV released of machete raider

Police investigating a robbery at a BP garage in Hythe, Kent, have released images of a man they want to speak to.

OFT report a 'missed opportunity' says Forum

The Forum of Private Business has described the OFT’s decision not to launch a full investigation into the state of fuel pricing as a ‘missed opportunity’.

Imo puts 48 sites up for sale

IMO Car Washes has put 48 of its sites up for sale through Manchester-based chartered surveyors Hindley Lawrence.

P&H launches software for forecourts

Software to help forecourts understand their local customer base, and tailor the product range to their needs, is being made available to Palmer and Harvey customers.

Robbery at Huddersfield forecourt

Kirklees CID are appealing for witnesses to a robbery at Lockwood Filling Station on Lockwood Road in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

No to full investigation as OFT concludes competition in road fuel sector is working well

There is no evidence of anti-competitive practices being used against independent fuel retailers on a national scale, according to the much-awaited review of the petrol retailing sector by the Office of Fair Trading, published today.

OFT decision 'bitter blow' to smaller dealers, says PRA

The decision by the OFT to not proceed with a full market study into the UK retail fuels sector, has been condemned by the Petrol Retailers' Association.

Scottish cigarette display regs confirmed

The Scottish Government has issued new guidance confirming when its display ban on tobacco will affect retailers.

Robbers attack forecourt worker

Robbers have attacked a young forecourt attendant on his first unsupervised shift, despite the shop being locked and only operating for fuel sales.

Call for consultation over plain packaging

The Department of Health (DoH) has been urged to engage with petrol retailers after newspaper reports that it is consulting with “interested parties” about introducing plain packaging for tobacco products.

HKS Motors completes purchase of two sites

HKS Motors has completed the acquisition of two petrol stations, one on Alfreton Road in Derby and one on Saffron Lane in Leicester, backed by a £700,000 finance package from Santander Corporate & Commercial banking.

Heavy cost of snowy weather

New research commissioned by Green Flag Breakdown reveals Brits missed 51.4 million working hours in the past week as a result of the poor weather conditions. Over 8.5 million (18%) British adults have been unable to work their contracted hours because of the adverse weather, costing employers an estimated £318 million.

PRA calls for new planning rules to stop hypermarkets 'steam-rollering' local businesses into oblivion

Nick Boles MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, has been urged by the Petrol Retailer’s Association to develop new planning guidance for filling stations that prevents hypermarkets steam-rollering local businesses into oblivion without due process taking place.

Fuel prices to rocket following 'shock' rise in wholesale costs

The shock rise in wholesale costs is just one of the reasons why the Petrol Retailers’ Assocation (PRA) has been knocking on the door of the Office for Fair Trading (OFT), since this time last year, to demand a full investigation into the workings of the UK market for road fuel, according to Brian Madderson, PRA chairman.

Pump dumper pooh-poohs forecourt etiquette

A pensioner caught short while filling up at a forecourt in Seaton, Devon, has been issued an £80 penalty notice by local police for defecating in the rear of his car and dumping the result at the pump before driving off.

Thieves steal diesel from garage

Police are appealing for information about the theft of 3,300 litres of diesel from the GL Clarke petrol station on Spilsby Road, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday January 10.

Royal warrant for biofuel company

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has granted a royal warrant to Green Fuels in recognition of its supply of biofuel and biofuel-related equipment.

HKS signs new supply deal with BP

A new fuel supply deal has been agreed by HKS - number 10 in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies - and BP to continue their long-standing partnership.

Forecourts battle snow to stay open

Forecourts across the UK have been affected by the heavy snow, with many seeing drops in fuel volumes balanced in some locations by increased sales of hot food and items such as bread and milk.

Used light commercial vehicle prices up

The average value of used Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) at auction rose 4% last month, compared with the previous month.

Fuel deliveries getting through despite weather

Oil companies say they have been able to maintain fuel deliveries with minimal disruption despite the heavy snowfall in many parts of the country.

Prototype car runs on compressed air

French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen has unveiled a new hybrid prototype car which can run on petrol or compressed air.

Petition urges crackdown on smugglers

A campaign against the illegal tobacco trade has been launched by the Lancashire Evening Post, because it says the trade is fuelling crime in local communities.

Fleets urged to adopt plug-in vehicles

Businesses that switch to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles could reduce their fleet fuel costs by 75%, according to a new report.

Supermarket fuel blamed for problems

Cheap supermarket diesel is being blamed for a surge in problems with vehicles’ on-board diagnostic systems during the cold snap.

New generation drives growth at JC Morrison

The long term future of one of Kent’s oldest and most successful family-run forecourt operations, J C Morrison, has been significantly boosted with the acquisition of a third filling station, situated in the village of Barham near Canterbury. The Gulf-supplied petrol retailer currently employs 60 staff across two sites and generates turnover of £4.65 million through its Budgens forecourt shops with fuel throughput of 7.3 million litres.

OFT investigates Western Isles fuel supply

The OFT has launched a formal investigation into the distribution of road fuels in the Western Isles of Scotland by GB Oils Limited.

NDubz star found guilty after fight on forecourt

NDubz rapper Dappy has been found guilty of affray after a brawl at a petrol station, in which others involved suffered broken teeth, and a broken nose. Following the week-long trial at Guildford Crown Court, Dappy was also found guilty of a charge of assault by beating, which involved him spitting at a man.

Forum focuses on alcohol policy

The Government’s Alcohol Strategy will be top of the agenda at the Responsible Retailing Forum, being run by the Association of Convenience Store (ACS) on February 26.

ACS raises concern over pricing Bill

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has warned that proposals to require supermarkets to release detailed pricing data could harm local shops.

New services for Jet dealers

Phillips 66 has introduced two new initiatives with equipment suppliers aimed at increasing the profitability of Jet dealers.

New training agreed for tanker drivers

New training standards for tanker drivers have been agreed by the UK Downstream Oil Distribution Forum (DODF).

Forecourts coping well with cold snap

Forecourts and the infrastructure supporting them seem to be coping very well with the extreme cold and snow that has hit Britain, with no reports of major problems or panic buying, although some roads in Norfolk were blocked by snow and police there were advising motorists to only make journeys that were absolutely necessary.

OFT accepts undertakings from Midcounties Co-op following Harry Tuffins purchase

The OFT has accepted undertakings offered by Midcounties Co-operative Limited (Midcounties) to address the competition concerns arising from its completed acquisition of Tuffin Investments Limited, the grocery and fuel retailing business of Harry Tuffin Limited.

Convenience and forecourt sectors provide respite for beleaguered retail sector

Convenience retail – both stand alone and associated with petrol – apparently brushed aside the concerns of the wider retail marketplace in 2012, according to Christie + Co’s Business Outlook 2013.

DECC claims slammed as "misleading"

The government's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has been slammed for publishing "dangerously misleading" comments on the security of UK fuel supplies.

Oil companies lead way at Forecourt Show

Oil companies will be out in force at The Forecourt Show, which takes place at the Birmingham NEC from April 14-16. Greenergy, Harvest Energy, Murco, Phillips 66 and Prax Petroleum will all be there. Prax is a first-time exhibitor at the show, and is using it to launch the Prax brand. Mainly known as a wholesaler of middle distillates, the company is expanding its facilities to include gasoline imports and marketing. It currently operates nine sites and will be looking to expand on this as well as offer a branded package to independent dealers and direct sales to retail customers.

Intake adds two new sites

Intake Developments has acquired two new sites, taking its total of forecourts to eight, as well as one standalone convenience store.

800 indies will be wiped out by 2017 warns PRA

Eight hundred independent forecourt sites will be wiped out by new supermarket forecourts by 2017 unless the government takes action, the Petrol Retailers' Association has warned.

Kay picks up second award

Kay Group has celebrated 40 years in business for its chief executive, Ken Kay, by picking up its second award in two months.

Top Indies report increased sales over Christmas period

Businesses in Forecourt Trader's Top 50 Indies have reported solid trading over the Christmas period.

in brief

Drive-off initiative

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you feel more optimistic about the prospects for your business in 2013, compared with 2012?

Paul Sykes sells Shaws and leaves the industry

One of the highest-profile figures in the forecourt industry has sold his business. Paul Sykes, who was managing director of award-winning Shaws Petroleum, has sold the company to Midlands Co-operative Society for an undisclosed sum.

M5 motorway development gets go ahead

The development of a £40m service station on the M5 motorway at Brookthorpe in Gloucestershire has moved a step closer following approval of revised plans

Small supermarkets show steady growth

Small supermarkets are improving their service to consumers leading to steady growth in terms of value, store numbers and shopper satisfaction, according to new research from shopper insight specialist Him.