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News » Columnists

Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS
10 October, 2019

During the past 12 months forecourt retailers have been taking on more responsibility to help tackle forecourt crime and, in particular, drive-offs. Greater involvement is necessary because police forces need our help.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media
10 October, 2019

The drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities on September 14 drove oil prices sharply higher, but the rapid restoration of Saudi exports helped limit the gains.

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS
10 October, 2019

We recently launched our 2019 Forecourt Report, which looks at the latest developments in the sector and how fuel retailers have been responding to these changes. One ongoing development that has been a hot topic among customers and businesses has been electric vehicles. This year's report has shown that while there are now around 230,000 plug-in cars and vans on UK roads, forecourts currently provide 1,083 charging points. The decision to put in an electric charging point on a forecourt remains a difficult one, especially with the pace of change of technology and the speed of charging developing constantly. Retailers will be forgiven for wanting to wait so that the tech they do invest in doesn't become redundant within years or even months.

Merril Boulton: editor
10 October, 2019

No apologies for devoting half of this issue to the Forecourt Trader Awards! I think the nation's hard-working forecourt retailers deserve a bit of recognition once in a while don't you? Because the awards ceremony itself is not just a chance for a great night out  - and being photographed in a range of fancy adornments in the photo booth! - but it's also about getting together with friends and colleagues and reflecting on the great achievements of the sector, how it's evolved and continues to innovate in order to adapt to changing market conditions.

Tracy West: retail commentator
10 October, 2019

I don't like the concept of 'schadenfreude' ie deriving pleasure from someone else's misfortune, but I must admit that when I heard Sainsbury's first till-free store trial had not worked, I did smile.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director
06 August, 2019

I have just returned from a road trip across Europe in a 52-year old classic car. During the trip we filled the car with petrol 14 times in five different countries France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Italy.

Tracy West: retail commentator
09 September, 2019

We all like trying something new and in the past few weeks I've tried quite a few new products. I started with two new Kit Kats: Green Tea Matcha (inspired by Japan) and Kit Kat made with Ruby Cocoa Beans. Sorry, but I have to say I won't be buying either of them again.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)
09 September, 2019

The Car Wash Association's (CWA's) lobbying work to expose criminal activity and widespread regulatory non-compliance on hand car washes faces new challenges following the change of government in July. New appointments have been made in all the key ministries relating to the CWA's work. Regulatory activity needs to be kick-started again to tackle modern slavery, employment abuses, tax fraud, H&S non-compliance and widespread pollution.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media
09 September, 2019

The fragility of the global economy in the light of the trade war between the US and China continues to weigh on oil markets, keeping benchmark Brent crude oil futures bobbing around the $60/bl mark.

Brian Madderson: chairman, PRA
09 September, 2019

After nine years of fuel duty freezes, this regressive tax is still netting the Exchequer some £28bn every year. Once double taxation is factored in, with added VAT at 20% yielding an estimated further £7bn, the overall total of £35bn comfortably places fuel as the fifth largest tax receipt for the Exchequer little wonder that it figures so prominently in any budget discussions.

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?