Forecast for the forecourts

WHILE much of the focus in 2017 will remain in-store, independent fuel dealers should not lose sight of the forecourt itself, according to Paul Yates, Jet’s territory manager for Scotland.

Paul Yates, Jet territory manager – Scotland.
Paul Yates, Jet territory manager – Scotland.

He advised updating pumps to the latest models, which can include media screen advertising or pay at the pump, adding dedicated parking areas, and making use of unused space to drive footfall from new initiatives such as the latest 24 hour self-service laundromat machines.
“Coffee will continue to be a vital forecourt offering, but operators can help drive forecourt footfall by introducing a strong food-to-go offering to sit alongside it,” he said. “Demand for food-to-go in the convenience sector has grown 33% year on year and forecourts are ideally placed to capitalise on this trend. This is why earlier this year Jet teamed up with eXpresso Plus and Country Choice for the launch of ‘Snack on the Go’, a combined coffee and food-to-go offering.
“By offering as many non-food services under one roof as they can, operators will not only drive forecourt footfall, but  also generate additional revenue streams.
“My final prediction for 2017 is that more independent operators will embrace the benefits offered through brand partnerships. Big convenience brands drive forecourt footfall, with branded stores attracting over 30% more return visits. We’ve seen this at first-hand where Jet sites have taken advantage of our partnership with Spar UK, strengthening their offering by making their forecourts ‘fuel and feed’ destinations.”