A Welsh indie chain is beating the mults at their own game by selling what it claims is the lowest-priced fuel in the UK.
High Noon Stores, which has two Murco-branded forecourts with Spar stores in Llanteg and Carmarthen, has slashed the price of its fuel to cost level in a bid to increase shop sales and draw in shoppers.
Diesel has dropped from 137.9ppl to 134.9ppl, while unleaded has been reduced from 135.9ppl to 131.9ppl. According to Petrolprices.com, 134.9ppl is the lowest price in the UK for diesel. The average price is currently 139.20ppl for diesel and 134.63ppl for unleaded.
MD Gordon Miller, who was previously an area manager for Aldi, said that since slashing prices last week, the company had seen an “instant, massive improvement” in sales.
“In the past we’ve tried taking the odd pence off here and there, but it never really had any impact,” Miller said. “We’ve always seen fuel as being a footfall driver rather than something to make money from, so this time we thought, ‘Let’s just do it.’”
He added that customer numbers had increased 25% and shop sales by 20%. Fuel sales, meanwhile, were up 250% on normal levels. This was despite no marketing or advertising, which Miller said was because “the pole sign is the most powerful marketing tool we’ve got”.
Nearby rivals were “shocked and disgruntled” by the move but had not chosen to follow High Noon’s lead in cutting prices, Miller said.
He added that he had also noticed a change in consumer behaviour.
“Initially, they thought we made a mistake,” Miller said. “But then they started telling me that they had planned to go to Tesco, but as they were here buying fuel they’d stock up in the shop too, so it’s encouraging them to use the store more.”