Competition in the forecourt store market is gathering pace with new packages from Londis and Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward. Londis will approach 7,000 petrol retailers nationwide in the search for sites. Appleby Westward will concentrate on its territory in the south west. According to Londis forecourt specialist Peter Creak, non-fuel can represent 60% of site sales. "With fuel margins in decline, car wash income static and car sales margins falling, the shop is one of the biggest profit centres on the site," he said. The Londis forecourt concept will be unveiled in the spring when the first store is due to open in the north followed by a national roll-out. Londis will introduce three types of forecourt stores: transient, convenience and neighbourhood, each with different spacing and ranging requirements. Transient sites tend to be small with high levels of passing trade and non repeat customers coming for impulse purchases, snacks and food on the hoof. Convenience forecourt stores are larger and serve a mixture of car and foot traffic. Their range includes basic groceries such as biscuits, tea and coffee. Neighbourhood stores are larger still and serve their local community as well as passing motorists with a wider mix, including chilled and fresh foods. The first Spar Express has been launched by Appleby Westward in Portishead near Bristol with "further openings expected to follow shortly", according to general manager Ian Connell. "The Spar Express fascia has been made in conjunction with the Spar UK design team but will be trialled in the south west only," he said. {{NEWS }}