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Forecourt retailers are making significant investments in their businesses when compared to their indie counterparts in the convenience sector, reveals a new report.

Independent forecourt retailers have made an investment of £14,463 per store in the last year, more than twice of the £7,181 per store for independent retailers in the rest of the convenience sector, found the 2019 Forecourt Report by the Association of Convenience Stores.

Almost three in four independent forecourt retailers (73%) are also funding investment from their own reserves, according to the report.

The report also highlighted the impact of forecourt shops in their community, with more than three quarters (77%) of independent forecourts engaging in some form of community activity over the last year.

Besides raising money for charity, they have sponsored local teams, were part of litter picks and donated to food banks or other food charities, the report finds.

“The forecourt sector has long been recognised as providing an essential service for motorists, but it’s clear that modern forecourts are innovative, community-focused retailers in their own right, make a real positive difference to the places where they trade and in many cases are leading the rest of the convenience sector,” commented James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS.

The forecourt sector overall is now worth £4.1 billion, with stores providing jobs for around 92,000 people across the UK. Out of the 8,382 fuel forecourt sites in the UK, 7,402 have shops.