Indies shaking up forecourt market

Suppliers finds retailers driving innovation

Brian Jones said independent retailers are offering more than supermarkets.

A GREAT sell-off of corporate owned forecourt sites is driving  a resurgence in independent forecourt retailing, according to a leading supplier, who has suggested today’s independent retailers can now take the fight to the supermarkets.

Brian Jones, director of the Dundee based forecourt convenience supplier Petroshops, has suggested the emergence of savvy independent retailers has reshaped the forecourt landscape, making a solid convenience offer in addition to fuel sales key to success.

Jones said: “Scottish forecourts have changed considerably over recent years with Shell, BP and Esso selling off a lot of their company owned sites.

“As well as the national forecourt groups swallowing up these sites a few Scottish independent groups have also been adding to their estates. This has resulted in a strong privately owned, independent dealer network in Scotland.

“All the major players in the industry have been redeveloping their sites and moving towards convenience and food on-the-go. A lot of sites are joining up with symbol groups – Spar, Premier, Costcutter, also Costa and Subway. Gone are the days when all you could hope for was a shrivelled up sandwich and bottle of coke in a forecourt shop.

“Retailers no longer fear the arrival of supermarket stations in their area. Independent forecourts are offering more than supermarket fuel shops and the price differential doesn’t seem to be the crucial factor it once was.”

Petroshops was founded in 1987. The firm offers a broad range of forecourt convenience products ranging from Adblue diesel exhaust fluid and car accessories to e-cigarettes and phone chargers. esso