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Watch out - jobsworth are about
01 April, 2005

Give somebody new responsibilities, new powers, and they will probably be out to prove something. Prove they’re up to it. Get results. Be a jobsworth in many cases. Unfortunately this seems to apply to a lot of trading standards officers who have been given the responsibility for ‘policing’ licensing.

How was it for you?
01 April, 2005

Was it a cuddly Budget or did you see it more on the dark side, ie Michael Howard’s way? Leaving aside the freeze on petrol duty and oil companies having to cough up sooner to help cash flow, there was one very interesting announcement in the Budget. Finally there is to be a bonfire of red tape (which we hope won’t leave a sticky mess).

News in brief
01 April, 2005

THE FORUM OF PRIVATE BUSINESS is warning small companies that they should query their new business rates bill if they believe it is too high. More than 1.5 million business rate bills are dropping into firms’ letter boxes over the next few days as a result of new rateable values, which are reassessed by councils every five years. Over average reailers’ business rates bills will increase by 17.5%.

Spar takes the high road
01 April, 2005

Spar wholesaler CJ Lang is setting its sights firmly on the forecourt sector in Scotland, with 36 forecourt shops already branded Spar and five more in the pipeline for the next few months.

A winning formula
01 April, 2005

Around 6,000 people attended the International Forecourt and Fuel Equipment Exhibition and Convenience Retailing Show 2005 three-day event at the Birmingham NEC last month. So successful was the show that its frequency is being changed from once every two years, to making it an annual event from next year. Running alongside CRS 2006, IFFE 2006 will take place from March 19 to 22 at the Birmingham NEC.

Rise and shine
01 April, 2005

Breakfast is big business for retailers these days, with research showing that an increasing number of people are grabbing their first meal of the day out of the home. According to Mintel’s ‘Snacking on the Go’ report (April 2004), ‘breakfast is the most missed meal for many consumers, who do not have the time or the will to prepare a meal in the morning’.

All in a name
01 April, 2005

Big brands make a big impact in all areas of consumerism, and the forecourt sector is no exception. But where brands on the forecourt were limited to the pole sign, pumps and products sold in store, recognisable names have made their way to other areas.

Ice breaker
01 April, 2005

If you’re selling ice cream in your forecourt shop then you need to make sure people know about it. That’s the message from Andrea Taylor, trade relations manager at Masterfoods. “Consumers might not expect to find ice cream in a forecourt store so retailers need to use point of sale material to draw people in. And inside the store, ice cream freezers need to be placed in high traffic flow areas so people are queuing against the freezer and can see what’s inside – then they’ll be tempted to buy.”

Ryko hands over servicing
01 April, 2005

Car Wash UK is taking over Ryko UK’s car wash installation, servicing and maintenance business, leaving Ryko to focus on the sale of car washes.

Touchscreen pay at pump on way to UK
01 April, 2005

Zytronic is supplying its Zytouch touchscreen technology to fuel dispensing equipment giant Tokheim, for its Pay@Pump terminals. The Optimum iQ terminal range allows motorists to interact directly with the Zytouch unit. Customers can make their own debit and credit card payments, while fuel cardholders can complete their total transaction at the pump because they can enter their registration and mileage into the terminals.

When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?