Forecourt digest

Asda forecourt

A rapid-fire roundup of some of the latest forecourt news from across Scotland and beyond.

EG deal maker

EG Group, which operates 395 forecourts, is offering to sell off 27 of its sites to help its owners complete the deal to buy Asda without an in-depth inquiry by the competition authorities.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally found that the deal raised a number of local competition concerns over the supply of fuel in 36 areas UK-wide. Unless these concerns were addressed, the CMA said, it would move from its initial phase one inquiry to carry out a detailed phase two inquiry.

EG Group owners Zuber and Mohsin Issa and TDR Capital have subsequently offered to divest 27 filling stations and the CMA intimated that this, or a modified offer, “might” be accepted by the CMA.

The EG Group owners have stated that there has already been “significant interest” from potential buyers for the 27 sites.

Following the CMA’s announcement, the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital released a statement saying: “Over the course of the past 10 days, we have been working constructively with the CMA to offer remedies to address the CMA’s competition concerns. Today, we are pleased to confirm that the CMA has indicated it has reasonable grounds to believe the proposed remedies are acceptable, enabling us to arrive at a conclusive outcome for the acquisition of Asda in Phase 1.

“As is usual in cases such as these, the CMA now has a period of 40 days to work through the detail of the proposed divestitures and therefore we are restricted in the level of information we are able to provide on specific sites.

“However, we have been comforted by the significant interest we have already received from potential buyers during this process, demonstrating the strong growth potential of our forecourts and the liquidity in the market. Over the coming months, we are confident that we will be able to agree a sale to suitable operators to take over all identified sites, and we will share more information in due course.”

Gulf adds Oomph

Major brands including M&S, Pizza Express, Halfords and Expedia have now been added to Gulf Retail’s forecourt loyalty platform, Oomph, with discount offers, E-code savings and cash back available in-store and online across a huge range of big-name retailers. In addition, participating customers can now enjoy free online educational courses across a wide variety of subjects along with POWR, an evidence based digital well-being tool that promotes health, reduces stress and improves contentment.

Gerry Welsh, Retail Marketing Manager, explains: “When Oomph was launched our immediate goal was to come to market with a fresh and exciting loyalty scheme that would be embraced by our Dealers and could evolve in line with consumer trends. Participation in Oomph by Gulf retailers and their customers is increasing exponentially, and our latest add-ons strengthen an already powerful offering.”

Only 9% on fuel mission

According to the new Lumina Intelligence UK Forecourt Market Report 2021, fewer than one-in-10 forecourt shoppers cite fuel as the main reason for their visit, as the coronavirus pandemic reinforces the importance of the convenience store offering within a forecourt.

The report found that over a quarter of forecourt shoppers (26%) were on a planned top-up  mission, and identified the most popular categories purchased on this mission as bakery (45%), chilled foods (excluding milk) (44%), fresh fruit and veg (35%) and tinned or packaged grocery (32%).

Besides planned top-ups, the report also found the key missions that are driving shoppers to forecourts are:

  • Food-to-go – 16%
  • Newsagent – 11%
  • Top-up (distress) – 9%