Reassessment of the value of forecourts
Petrol forecourts have not been everyone’s number one investment. In years gone by the forecourt was primarily placed on the front drive way of motor dealers . Then we saw specific sites established by the oil producers to go direct to the public as margins in petrol sales fell away. Supermarkets also came into the market ,on much larger sites ,to give their customers the convenience of filling up whilst shopping at a low cost.
The upshot was that the motor dealer dispensed with his petrol sales and used the forecourt for new and used vehicles. The specific petrol outlets were remodelled to become the “corner shop” where motorists could not only refuel but pick up basic groceries and the last-minute purchase of drinks, cards flowers on-route.
With the evolution of the electric car there is a need to have sites designed to accommodate a longer stay – refreshments probably being the main item, but the service stations now provide a range of services for the traveller.
One of the issues with the old forecourt was that with low margins there was always something better to use the space for. Moreover, as combustible fuel was stored in tanks on the forecourt, there was issues with building up on the site. For those sites in towns that have the” corner shop outlet” there appears to be a fresh opportunity and that is the potential to build up with residential being probably the favoured choice.
These sites could become a community asset offering:
- Food & beverage
- Collection point for deliveries
- Booking system to have your vehicle refuelled
- Dry cleaning, shoe repairers etc
- Kids play area
- Affordable housing; hotels, student accommodation
These new development areas for the standard forecourt site could see properties of this type reach new demand levels from prospective buyers and considerably increase the inherent value of a forecourt.
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If you’re a new or existing forecourt operator and would like to discuss more about how our experts can help optimise your business strategy, please get in touch.