Spar forecourt chain Kay Group is aiming to offset a decline in fuel sales through a food-to-go offering similar to that of Marks & Spencer (M&S).

Ken Kay, CEO of the company, told betterRetailing the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic had caused a decline in fuel sales. During the peak of lockdown, forecourt retailers nationwide reported a drop in transient footfall as the public followed guidelines to stay and work from home.

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Although fuel sales for Kay Group, which has more than 20 sites across north-west England, have increased as lockdown measures eased, Kay said the company is reviewing its approach to food to go to help with the uncertainty of a potential second lockdown.

“We already offer food to go through Greggs and Costa concessions, and Spar has helped support us through a challenging period,” he said.

“Although sales have increased again, we’re uncertain about what the impact of a second lockdown on our business could be like. We added a few fresh products such as sandwiches, and we did see an increase in sales due to customers avoiding the nearby supermarkets.

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“We’ll be looking to expand the number of sites we have in the north further and create something which is similar to what M&S offers.”

There are 280 M&S forecourts in partnership with BP, offering fresh produce, food to go and ready meals.

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