Fill 'er up. And how about some fuel for the driver?

16 November, 2007

Q All the petrol forecourts in my neighbourhood are now licensed and sell alcoholic drinks. Are most garages now selling drink, or am I unlucky enough to be operating inside a cluster of sites with licences?

A More and more forecourts are recognising that alcohol is a vital part of the convenience mix, though they still have to demonstrate to the licensing board that their business is primarily a shop, rather than a filling station. Once that has been proved, obtaining a drinks licence is usually no more problematic than it would be for any other kind of retailer.

According to recent figures published in our sister title, Forecourt Trader, there are upwards of 2,115 licensed forecourts -

around 20 per cent of the network. So in fact the alcohol opportunity may be under-exploited by our petrolhead brethren.

Research also indicates that shoppers buying alcohol in forecourt shops tend to spend more than they would in a typical convenience store.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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