Supermarket giants, ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have announced a unified switch in the way that fuel is sold to customers. From March 2013 petrol and diesel will only be available in-store alongside other luxury goods such as quails eggs, chocolate, perfume, wines and spirits.
The move is in response to on-going price hikes in fuel which have seen the product go from a basic necessity to a high value commodity and increasingly out of the reach of less affluent consumers.
A spokesman for the British Retail Consortium said, “We welcome this innovative move by our members which rightfully reflects the high value of fuel as a luxury item and will increase foot fall one hundred fold. Deli fuel will definitely help to jump-start flagging retail sales.”
Tesco has already commenced a rebranding programme with ordinary deli-unleaded to be sold in basic tetra packs and deli-super unleaded in a choice of luxury wrappings. Deli-Biodiesel will be on sale in the organic vegetable section. However, all packaging will have to display the latest traffic light colour coding system along with a list of any artificial additives or colourings.
But fierce criticism has been aimed at retailers from town halls up and down the country. Questions have been raised about the future of supermarket petrol forecourts and the potential loss of revenue from a fall in business rates.
In response a spokesman for Tesco said, “This is an area which has been looked at in great depth and we can reveal that plans are underway to convert petrol pumps into milk dispensers instead. This is great news for dairy farmers as the product will no longer need to be an in-store loss leader.”
In another development petrol giant 'BP' is now in talks with ASDA and Victoria Beckham's management agency 19 Entertainment to produce a new fragrance based on 4 star unleaded fuel. Early indications are that the new perfume will be called 'Essence' reflecting the star's international travelling lifestyle and femininity. It will be available exclusively in ASDA stores in time for Christmas.