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Fueling Growth: Forecourt Retailers Embrace Cutting-Edge Services and Tech Investments

Fueling Growth: Forecourt Retailers Embrace Cutting-Edge Services and Tech Investments

Forecourt retailers in the UK are investing in services and technology to enhance the customer experience and keep up with changing consumer demands.

Forecourt Retailers in the UK Prioritize Services and Technology Investments, ACS Report Shows

A recent report by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) highlights the continuous investment made by forecourt retailers in the UK to expand and improve the range of services they offer to customers. The 2023 Forecourt Report reveals that a significant number of forecourts now provide free-to-use ATMs, click and collect services, and standalone parcel collection points. Additionally, forecourt retailers are actively enhancing their technological infrastructure, with investments in till systems and refrigeration units. Despite facing challenges such as rising business rates and energy bills, forecourt retailers play a crucial role in their communities and urge the government to recognize their contributions.

Key Findings from the Forecourt Report:
1. Job Creation: The UK forecourt sector has created over 89,000 jobs, with 25% of colleagues having been in the business for more than a decade.
2. Sales Value: The value of sales in the forecourt sector, excluding fuel, has reached £4.9 billion in the last year.
3. Community Engagement: Approximately 78% of forecourt retailers actively participate in community initiatives, raising funds for local charities, contributing to local projects, and donating to food banks.
4. Dedication: 21% of independent forecourt retailers do not take any days off throughout the year, showcasing their commitment to serving customers consistently.
5. Store Improvements: Independent forecourts have invested an average of around £11,700 in store improvements over the past year.

The Move Towards Electric Vehicles (EVs):
The report also highlights the significant change in the UK’s transportation sector, with a growing focus on electric vehicles (EVs). While forecourt retailers are expected to play a role in the EV future, the report shows that not all stores are rushing to install charging points. Currently, only 8% of the forecourt sector offers EV charging, as the value of parking spaces for customers outweighs the potential value of charging points. However, steady growth is anticipated in the future as forecourts establish themselves as one of several charging options for consumers.

The ACS’s 2023 Forecourt Report demonstrates the ongoing commitment of forecourt retailers in the UK to enhance customer experiences through the expansion of services and technological advancements. Despite facing challenges such as rising costs and bills, forecourt retailers continue to contribute to their communities and play a vital role in local economies. As the country transitions towards EVs, forecourt retailers are expected to adapt and provide charging options to meet changing consumer needs. The full Forecourt Report can be accessed on the ACS’s member portal.

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Nayan Kumar