Forecourt Trader
DTI throws lifeline to rural retailers

More than 1,000 rural forecourts have been thrown a lifeline following a government announcement on Stage IB vapour recovery.

BP connect for new toll

RoadChef opens the doors on its BP Connect forecourt on the M6 toll road this month.

Industry upbeat for 2004

The forecourt market looks set for a rewarding year in 2004, according to a survey by financial publishers Plimsoll. Sales are expected to increase an average of one per cent with profit margins remaining low but steady at one per cent.

Greenergy calls for tax break on biofuel

Greenergy is calling on the Chancellor to support the development of the UK biodiesel market by introducing a targeted duty incentive to promote blended biodiesels.

Budgens Local man joins indie

Budgens Local senior business development manager Brett Corder has left the multiple to join Forecourt Trader of the year winners Jonathan and Rebecca James.

New Year tobacco deadline

Retailers are being reminded that from January 1 next year all cigarettes displayed on shelf must adhere to the new yield requirements set out by the EU Tobacco Product Directive.

Sugro UK goes live with online service

Wholesale distributor Sugro UK, is launching an online service for independent retailers which will enable them to place their orders directly with the company from anywhere in the UK.

Double trouble

An intruder who inflicted almost £900 of damage at a forecourt in Hertfordshire received a double punishment – he cut himself while smashing a glass door panel with a lump of concrete , an injury which led to his identification.

Today's fascia for smaller forecourts

Nisa-Today’s has launched a forecourt fascia for small independents, following the launch of Nisa Express for larger sites in July (Forecourt Trader, August, p13).

Double standards

A new report claims forecourt customers can be categorised into increasingly divergent groups – price-seekers at one end and service-seekers at the other. They are driven by their differing needs and expectations, according to David Kurtz, director of energy analysis at Datamonitor, and author of a new report that takes a Europe-wide look at dual branding strategies on the forecourt.

Off licence confusion

Susan Young, who runs Nantybwch Service Station at Tredeger in Gwent, was bemused to get a letter from a firm of solicitors in Merthyr Tydfil, suggesting that she might like to use their services in renewing her off licence and urging her to reply by November 10. Susan wondered if there was something she should know.

Occupational hazards

I don’t suppose you need me to tell you what a dangerous industry you work in – deadly substances on tap and tills full of high turnover (shame about the profit). But you still might be stopped in your tracks by some shock-horror statistics from the Health & Safety Executive on motor vehicle repair.

It's that time again

As the festive season heads into the home stretch, remember to remind your staff that there will be more strangers, and dangers, around. Some of the bounty that makes up Christmas will come in the form of back-of-lorry offers and freshly-minted dud notes and dodgy plastic from the unwanted customer.

In the fast lane

RoadChef has undergone something of a revolution over the past two years – splashing out £30m to reinvent its service areas in a bid to be the best operator on the motorways.

Make a splash

Fuel retailers may be losing share in the car wash market to standalone operators, but it’s not all doom and gloom for forecourts. There is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of new legislation – and it’s not often that legislation comes in forecourts’ favour.

Power play

If someone were to ask you if you knew the difference between an AA and an AAA battery I’m sure you’d answer ‘yes’. That’s because you sell them and it’s your job to know such things. However, for many consumers batteries are confusing – they all look very similar but can do very different things. And they’re not exactly a product consumers really want to know much about, because they’re a means to an end. They’re just the part that keeps the remote control working or the radio playing.

Movie mania

Contrary to the message in the 80s hit, video never did kill the radio star, but DVD may well kill video. According to the British Video Association (BVA), DVD rental overtook video for the first time earlier this year.

Smart Silvey

Fuel distributor Thomas Silvey has invested in Oasis, the ‘smart’ technology platform to manage its fuel card business.

Meggitt rebranded

VBi Retail Solutions has rebranded its talking pumps and epos systems following the company’s acquisition of Meggitt Petroleum Systems in May this year.

Bolero is hot stuff

Bravilor’s Bolero 11 range of table-top machines offers a hot chocolate at the touch of a button and is described as being ideal for all beverage-offering locations.

Walkers relaunch

Walkers Snacks is splashing out £10m in the first 12 weeks of 2004 to relaunch its core crisp range.

Reflecting changes

Crewe-based Viz Reflectives has re-packaged its reflective vests for motorists in a new triangular canister which keeps the contents clean, protects it from fading in the sunlight and stops it rolling around in the boot of the car.

Feel the burn with Eco-Tab

A new fuel additive has been introduced to the UK market to reduce emissions and make cars more responsive.

Bomba Energy drink blasts into the UK

Energy drink Bomba Energy – established in Europe, Australia and USA – is now available in the UK from Fruity Beverages.

Celebrations at Easter

Masterfoods hopes to continue the success of its Easter range with the launch of an enhanced line-up for 2004.

Healthy snack goes bananas

Healthy snack goes bananas Inter Link Foods is introducing a second GO variant to capitalise on the success of its Soreen GO Fruity Cereal Bar.

£1m for Fishermans

Fishermans’ Friend is launching a new £1m advertising and promotional winter campaign, which runs until February, as well as a new product – Cherry Menthol lozenges.

New pouch for Whiskas

Whiskas is introducing a larger 200g pouch into the single-serve category to meet demand for a product that meets the needs of multi-cat owners.

Mo'gas: An irreverent view from the network

SO THERE I WAS, getting out of the car to go to a PRA roadshow, when I suddenly realised that it was November and I was in my shirtsleeves! Perhaps there is something to this global warming business after all. I just wish the experts could make their minds up what weather conditions to blame on global warming, what weather conditions to blame on El Nino and what they will accept as being normal.

Fuel prices December 2003

Data supplied by Catalist Ltd