Forecourt Trader
in brief

Tesco runs loss leader

Euro Garages plans 69 more Subway outlets

The Subway brand and Euro Garages have announced plans to open a further 69 outlets across the group's existing 120-site forecourt estate by 2016. The companies say the expansion drive will create around 700 new jobs especially in areas of high unemployment. The new stores will bring the total number of Euro Garages sites with a Subway store to 100.

First forecourt store for Simply Fresh brand

The Simply Fresh symbol brand has opened its first store on a forecourt, in the rural village of Weare in Somerset.

Brian Madderson: chairman PRA

In March 2012, Bloomberg reported that a commission appointed by the G20 nations' finance ministers called for stricter regulation of price-reporting agencies (now confusingly referred to as PRA by the media) to prevent the manipulation of oil markets. At that time, a consultation document published by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said: "There is a risk that a price-reporting agencies benchmark price can be manipulated by the submission of false prices or by over- or under-stating volumes transacted."

Victory for BOSS with DVLA data

BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has announced a major success on behalf of fuel retailers by securing agreement from the DVLA to enable service stations to request and access registered vehicle keeper details from its database.

Irish site makes 72% savings on energy bills

Forecourt supermarket Nisa Islandbawn has become the first retailer in Northern Ireland to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Tokheim Eye caters for unmanned sites

Tokheim has launched a new version of its Tokheim Eye forecourt monitoring/control system for unmanned sites.

PSD Codax adds a PIN-free payment terminal

PSD Codax, the developer of token-free control systems for car wash equipment, is introducing PIN-free payment solutions for forecourt retailers.

Praise for BigBrother

The latest version of the BigBrother CCTV security system, which was launched by WashTec at The Forecourt Show in April, is already making a mark on forecourt crime the company claims.

Enhanced level of safety with submersible pump

Gilbarco Veeder-Root has released an upgraded version of its Red Jacket 4" Submersible Turbine Pump range.

Forecourt expansion

Structural Science Composites (SSC), a designer and manufacturer of composite manhole access covers, has made a new appointment, one of whose tasks will be developing business in the forecourt sector.

Low-cost DVR/alarms

VDT Direct, a developer of digital video security equipment, has launched a new range of low-cost DVRs (digital video recorders) with alarm functions, costing from £120.

David Charman

As we head out of spring and into summer, parts of our business have suffered owing to the poor weather conditions experienced this year. Generally though, the car wash industry has had a good start to the year.

Brand alliances: Top marques

Big brands bring footfall. That's the view of Neil Giles, creative director at design consultants Circle. "The obvious success story in the UK is the M&S tie-up with BP, which has revolutionised the idea of shopping at service stations, and in South Africa, Engen has a great tie-up with Woolworths Foodstop."

Ginsters' refresh brings 50% more products

Ginsters is refreshing its sandwich range with a 50% increase in the number of products including new formats and flavours to appeal to a broader range of tastes and occasions.

All-natural Punch

Jamaican beverage brand Saapos has repackaged its range of ambient drinks and is launching it to the retail market under the name The Original Caribbean Punch. Originally created by Jamaican-born Collin Carr for his North London restaurant and named after his nickname, Saapo, the range has three exotic variants: original fruit punch, beetroot punch and milk-based pineapple punch.

Revive's new position

Revive from Lucozade is being repositioned to make it more "relevant and appealing" to shoppers. Manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is moving the £9.4m brand into the enhanced and flavoured waters sector with updated on-pack claims. Revive is a lightly sparkling vitamin drink containing energy-releasing B vitamins and comes in three flavours: lemongrass & ginger, orange & acai and cranberry & acai.

Brekkie on-the-go

New from Lacka Foods is the Be Fast range of on-the-go breakfast drinks. Available in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavours, each contains over 6g of fibre. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals and the bottles proclaim: "As good for you as a bowl of cereal!".

Tasty Toasties line

Chedds, the 100% real Cheddar kids' snacking brand from Cathedral City, is launching a convenience sector specific format of its cheese & toasties line. The single pack, which consists of six slices of mild Cathedral City Cheddar and six pieces of melba toast, is available in cases of 12. Like all Cathedral City products, Chedds contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Recommended retail price is 79p.

Moreish choc snack

Cadbury Crunchums are a new 'moreish' snack of crispy cereal bites, coated in Cadbury chocolate. Brand owner Mondelez describes them as "a similar breed of quirky snacks" as its Cadbury Popcorn and Pretzels. They come in 105g bags with a rrp of £2.03.

Sundays at the cinema

Mars Chocolate's Sweet Sundays promotion is returning this month. The company says that last year the campaign, which gives away free cinema tickets, attracted 37% more new shoppers to the Mars brand. This year more cinemas are involved and consumers can use mobile technology to redeem tickets. Sweet Sundays offers consumers a free cinema ticket with the purchase of four core-size or two large-size special packs across Mars' bite size portfolio.

Jucee new design

Jucee the UK's fastest-growing squash and mini juice brand (IRI data) has a new pack design featuring fruit characters, including ozzie orange and archie apple. To support the brand relaunch, there is also a new 1.5ltr squash bottle, available in nine variants exclusively to the convenience sector. The new packs are aimed at retailers with limited shelf and storage space. They have been launched with a permanent price flash of £1.29.

Shapely snack launch

The Pom-Bear range has been extended with the launch of Zoo Friends animal shapes in a "really cheesy" flavour. Marketing manager, Steve Harger, at brand owner Intersnack, says: "After the success of our limited-edition 'Snowmen' at Christmas, we felt the time was right for a new permanent addition to the range. We believe we've hit the perfect solution with Zoo, which has scored highly in research for both pack appeal and flavour."

Shop Talk

I've had an Alice, Alex, Anthony, Charlotte, Chris, Luke, Phil, Rob and Thomas so far but alas no Tracy. To what am I referring? Coca-Cola's latest campaign where you can find your name on a bottle of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, as long as it's one of the most popular 150 names in the UK that is.

Motorway first for Wetherspoons in joint venture with Extra

JD Wetherspoon is to open its first licensed bar and restaurant on the motorway network. The new facility will open - by Christmas - at Extra’s Motorway Service Area on the M40 (junction 2) at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.

Spotlight on pricing

Many in the trade have welcomed the decision by the European Commission (EC) to launch an investigation into oil price fixing, especially after the disappointment caused by the OFT's refusal to sanction a probe into the UK road fuel market just weeks earlier.

Shop Doctor: Shell Halfmoon, Epping, Essex


I was happy to pull into the Shell Halfmoon service station as its advertised pole prices were competitive. I also needed a snack for lunch and was interested to again sample some of the Shell 'Deli2go' range.

Money Talk: A very thin line between trading and disaster

Readers who occasionally watch any of the documentary channels on TV might be familiar with the warnings that our highly-automated and interlinked society is really rather fragile. One large solar flare or a heavy ice-storm, and power supplies and communications links suddenly fail, bringing normal activities to a grinding halt. It doesn't necessarily take a global catastrophe to prove just how much we rely on technology for things to work smoothly, the lack of immediate alternative fall-back positions and the consequent chaos if the technology fails. A recent incident at one client's place was far less dramatic, but still provides a small-scale illustration.

Service Centre: Jac Roper delves into employee contracts, extra services and snow

Look after your assets

Here's a cliché question for you Mr Forecourt Boss: what's your best asset? I'm sure you have many but full marks if you said 'staff' unless, of course, you spend every working hour right there on the till.

Decent proposal

Shell in the UK is a far more attractive proposition for both customers and dealers than it has been for some time, according to David Moss, who took over as the company's general retail manager, north cluster (UK, Denmark, Norway), at the start of the year, replacing Melanie Lane. And the dealer offer is evolving into something particularly compelling, he claims.

Fuel Market Review: Optimistic outlook

It's been another interesting year, but thankfully there has been some stability in the market. Those of you who were at the Top Indies Dinner in March and at Forecourt Live! at the NEC in April will have seen evidence that things are looking quite good for the independent forecourt sector in 2013.

Risky business?

The risks involved in selling illicit cigarettes have risen substantially as, for the first time ever in the UK, a retailer has been found guilty of intentionally selling dangerous cigarettes. Until now, any UK retailer caught selling "cheap whites" has been prosecuted for tax evasion, but Shapoor Atiqi from Boston Food and Wine Centre in Lincolnshire, has been found guilty of eight offences, including the sale of non self-extinguishing cigarettes. He was sentenced to 270 hours of community work and fined more than £5,000.

Sweet truth

According to research company Mintel, the "vibrant pack designs and lively marketing messages that characterise sugar confectionery" are in contrast to the market's sales performance. It seems all is not rosy. While price rises because of more expensive ingredients have pushed up total value sales, volume sales have fallen due to worries about healthy diets and competition from rival treats. As for those value sales, Nielsen figures show the total sugar confectionery market to be worth £1.1bn, with growth of 3.6% (MAT March 9, 2013). However, it would appear that sugar lines lack sweetness for some forecourt stores.

Day in the Life: Jason Tamplin

My alarm goes off at 6.10am but I'm not a great morning person so I will have another sneaky 10 minutes in bed.