Forecourts of future will have ‘bigger store space, cafes, roof gardens’

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Forecourts in future are likely to become convenience stores with re-charging and re-fueling points attached rather than traditional petrol stations, an Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) conference heard on Tuesday (14).

Speaking at Power Mobility and Convenience conference, Alexandra Copeland, regional operations manager for Applegreen said that forecourts are increasingly “not seen as petrol stations but as convenience stores”.

Store operators are expected to find in the coming times that they have much more space as traditional petrol pumps give way to electric charging points, the ACS conference heard.

Predicting the future trends, Copeland said the forecourts in the coming times will offer many more services, including prescription collections, laundry services and a range of cafes and restaurants. She said that even roof gardens were possible, in order to provide somewhere people could relax rather than hurry through.

“Fuel retailing will continue to decline while non-fuel will increase,” she said.

Fuel once made up 90 per cent of sales, but that is now down to 50 per cent, as per reports while Copeland predicted it will fall to 20 per cent in the next few years.

Increase in size and scope of forecourt stores had gone alongside the decline in the number of petrol forecourts, stated Copeland, saying there are now 8,380 forecourts and 7,398 of those have shops.