Press Releases

Forecourt sector will remain an attractive investment option in the face of the 2030 deadline

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’, which reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of 2021 and forecasts what 2022 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including the forecourt sector.

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Business Outlook 2022 Front Cover

The report emphasised that despite climate change, electric vehicles and the looming 2030 deadline dominating news headlines throughout 2021, there remains an insatiable appetite for petrol filling stations, with multiple buyers hungry to acquire assets at every level of the market.

The number of available sites could not meet buyer demand and this is driving buyers to look further afield for opportunities, with 60% of buyers hailing from over 50 miles away from the site they eventually bought.

Potentially available sites (excluding for example supermarket and core oil company properties) are outnumbered by the buyer pool 3:1. As such, sites that do come to market achieve an average of five offers per transaction. Furthermore, the time from instruction to exchange decreased in the last year by 22.7% due to competitive tension among buyers.

Such demand resulted in a continuation of the rise in our index seen over the past few years, with average prices in 2021 increasing by 5.9% on the previous year.

Looking to the year ahead, the report also outlines Christie & Co’s market predictions which are:

  • Demand will continue to exceed the supply for retail opportunities
  • Operational headwinds, including inflation of staff wages, fuel and food prices, along with supply chain issues could impact trading performance – particularly for small independent operators who operate at less economies of scale than the larger multiples. 
  • As this evolves, large operators will continue to churn - acquire better stores and sell underperforming ones, providing further opportunity for independents
  • We expect to see further consolidation as supermarket brands explore how to penetrate convenience via the forecourt sector - through supply deals, franchising and perhaps further deal activity
  • Forecourt operators will likely focus on diversifying their income and introducing alternative fuel offers

Steve Rodell, Managing Director of Retail at Christie & Co comments, “Mainstream media reports are constantly highlighting the sharp percentage increase in EV (electric vehicle) sales. Yes, 11.6% of all vehicles sales in 2021 were EV’s – an increase of 76%.  But that equalled only 190,727 cars. The absolute number of EV’s in relation to the UK ‘car park’ of 32 million cars remains miniscule.  Perhaps in 15-20 years after the ban on selling petrol and diesel vehicles has kicked in we will see this number pick up more pace.  In the meantime, retailers who want to exit can take advantage of a buoyant market – whether at large group level or single site.  We remain in constant conversation with buyers and sellers at every level and only this will enable us to keep providing accurate market advice to those choosing an exit.”

Click here to read the full report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’.

Go straight to the retail section and view the Retail Interview with MD of Retail, Steve Rodell and special guest Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of Petrol Retailers Association HERE.

For further information on this press release, contact:
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Executive

P: 020 7227 0794 or E:

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