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Service Centre: Jac Roper starts the New Year with good news as well as lots of wise words
13 January, 2014

The loan arranger good guys

This column is kicking off the New Year with some good news. It comes via Steve Vaughan, a Londis retailer who runs Handbridge Services in Chester.

Nisa-ly does it
13 January, 2014

Over the past 30 years Barry and Joan Raw have built up a strong business which, at its peak, sold over 15 million litres of fuel from three sites in the North East of England. Until recently, all three sites retailed under the Jet brand with what the family described as a "standard fuel and shop offering". However, in July 2013 they made a pioneering move to convert one of their sites to a full Nisa-branded operation at Redworth Service Station in Shildon on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, with fuel supplied by Greenergy. On completion of the work, fuel and shop sales increased by 20% almost overnight. "It was like turning on a light," says Joan. "People could see what we were offering and clearly liked what they saw."

Des res
13 January, 2014

When it comes to the forecourt property market, it's very much a matter of opinion as to whether 2013 was a busy year or not. Anthony Keohane, director of automotive and roadside at Colliers, says 2013 was "another busy year" with the supermarkets and oil company/supermarket joint ventures continuing their expansion trail. "BP, with M&S, has been particularly active and Sainsbury's has now opened the first of a package of sites that it acquired from Rontec, in Horley.

Pellet potential
13 January, 2014

It's not often that you buy a packet of chewing gum then, as a result, drive off in a brand new car. But that's exactly what happened to Airwaves gum consumer Theresa Cowling from Oxford, who won a Ford Focus ST as part of the brand's Full Throttle promotion. Her prize was presented to her by two drivers from the Airwaves Racing British Tour Car Championship team Mat Jackson and Tom Onslow-Cole as the competition formed part of Airwaves' ongoing sponsorship of the British Tour Car Championship.

Money Talk: It's no time to withhold your financial secrets
13 January, 2014

January is always a very busy month for accountants, dominated primarily by the need to ensure that clients' personal self-assessment tax returns (SATRs) all get filed by the 31st at the very latest.

Day in the Life: Pete George
13 January, 2014

It sounds like a cliché, but there really is no such thing as a typical day for me. That's just as well considering I've now been with Phillips 66 in its various forms for 44 years! I first joined the company (at that time Conoco) straight from grammar school in 1970, and have since held a number of roles in transport, terminals, supply, retail and wholesale in different locations throughout the UK and overseas. I think the variety of roles and the different challenges I've faced have kept me on my toes. There's certainly never been a dull moment!

PRA secures rates discount
13 January, 2014

Petrol filling stations will be included in a business rates discount after intervention by the PRA.

Indies support for supermarkets' cards worth £10m says MacDonald
13 January, 2014

The independent forecourt retailer sector could be supporting supermarket businesses to the tune of £10 million a year by participating in loyalty card schemes, claims Ramsay MacDonald, retail director of Certas Energy.

Fuel offers victory
13 January, 2014

The PRA is to follow Australia's lead in seeking a voluntary agreement to curb the fuel discounting practices of the supermarkets, which have been so damaging to the independent petrol retailing sector. It is also calling for the OFT to re-open its investigation into the UK market.

Krisco Seyon lifts Maypole
13 January, 2014

Keith Mowbray, a well-known figure in the forecourt sector, has finally found a company to rejuvenate his Maypole Service Station site in Birmingham after closing it five years ago. He has leased it to Top 50 Indie Krisco Seyon, which has spent £250,000 on it and reopened it on December 21.

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?