Design and the Lottery fuel petrol station boom

UK petrol station forecourt shop sales were up by more than 40 per cent last year, due mainly to improved design concepts and the success of the National Lottery, new research reveals.

Research company Corporate Intelligence on Retailing has found that the UK’s forecourts, now totalling 13 000, had a combined turnover of 2.9bn last year, beating those of France and Germany.

“Compared with the old-style kiosk approach, [the new convenience store formats] are much more professional and are proving successful with more careful professional merchandising,” says Corporate Intelligence director Robert Clark.

Clark cites 20/20’s revamp of Texaco forecourts (DW 13 October 1995) as an example of the “professional” approach. Texaco manager of logistics and engineering Chris Christoforou says of the three pilot sites: “We have seen an increase [in sales] in a very short space of time.” He expects sales to continue to rise.

Sales of lottery tickets and scratch cards have undoubtedly added a new dimension to forecourt retailing in the UK and increased local customer throughput in host stores, says the report.

National Lottery tickets accounted for 11 per cent of all forecourt shop sales last year, with 1650 lottery terminals, and scratch cards sold at 2060 forecourt stores.

Corporate Intelligence foresees UK forecourt shop sales continuing to outstrip retailing in general, and the report warns that “petrol stations without shops on their forecourts to fall back on and help them weather the immediate storm [of the petrol price wars] are particularly exposed to present conditions”.

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