UK Forecourt Numbers Continue to Fall

Green Energy

The latest Retail Marketing Survey, conducted by the Energy Institute (EI), shows that the number of forecourts in the UK continued to decline over the past year, falling to just 8,480 sites – down from 8,892 outlets in 2010. This is compared to 1967’s all-time high of 39,958 forecourts.

Oil company sites decreased by 209 to 5,310 in 2011, while the main retailer sites increased by 15 to 906 and supermarket sites increased by 27 to 1,316. Smaller retailer sites decreased by 8 to 63 and other unbranded sites decreased by 41 to 885.

The five largest oil company operations by number of branded forecourts were: BP with 1,178 sites (up 4 in 2011); Esso with 890 (down 34); Shell with 845 (down 41); Texaco with 840 sites (down 57) and Total with 782 (down 51).

Other key findings of the survey show:

* Petrol sales totalled 13.86mn tonnes by year-end – down from 15.01mn tonnes at the close of 2010.

* Diesel sales totalled 13.91mn tonnes by year-end – rising slightly from 13.06mn tonnes a year earlier.

* Total 2011 road fuel sales fell slightly to 35.608mn tonnes – down from 36.111mn tonnes in 2010.

* By the close of 2011, unleaded prices had averaged 133.60 p/l (versus 117.16 p/l in 2010); while diesel prices closed the year at an average price of 138.90 p/l (versus 119.51 p/l).

* Registered UK vehicles rose from 34.1mn in 2010 to reach 34.7mn by end-2011, with each forecourt supplying an average of 4,088 vehicles.

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