Oil company Total is highlighting alcoholic drinks at its forecourts as it rolls out the Bonjour convenience format.

The zoned Bonjour c-stores have a licensed section at their entrance, where space permits, said non-foods category manager Iain Cracknell.

He said: “Total has been selling alcohol for five years, but customer research shows customers are unaware of it. We want to make sure they know Bonjour is a convenience store, and not just about fuel.”

The 32 Bonjour stores now open are beating targets on turnover said Cracknell.

Basket spend and margins are also higher than at the other Total fascias - Night & Day, Shop and Choice.

Own label ready meals are being developed, the fresh food range is being expanded and CDS and DVDs are on sale. A range of Bonjour branded sandwiches has already been introduced. Health and beauty and self-medication gondola ends are also proving popular, said Cracknell.

With Bonjour stores mainly in the south, the flagship format is now to be introduced in the north and Wales.The first two Welsh stores have just opened in Cardiff, as have stores in Manchester and Sunderland.

The target is to convert 160 Total stores to Bonjour by 2005, nearly a fifth of its UK portfolio, revamping and, where possible extending, existing Total sites.

There are three versions of the new format - a transit version suitable for sites up to 150 sq m and focused on food to go. The neighbourhood version - representing 70% - is focused on top up shopping while a third, for town centres, caters for distress shopping.

Total, which operates in England and Wales, started trials of the Bonjour format in mid-2001.

Total now operates around 155 Bonjour stores on its forecourts on the continent, and will have 2,000 across Europe by 2005.