An independent retailer is hoping to bounce above his competitors when he opens an indoor soft play area and café at the rear of his store in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Kevin Lackey of Hart Street Stores decided to convert half his shop floor and most of his back room space into a large play area after the opening of a new Tesco Express and the subsequent revamp of a neighbouring Co-op began to dent his sales.

"My takings were sliding, but overheads were rising so I knew I had to do something," Kevin told Convenience Store. "I had a huge amount of expensive but wasted back room space that I knew could be put to better use. The idea of a children's play area seemed logical."

Kevin is in the process of selling off unwanted chillers to help fund the build, which will cost an estimated £25,000.

Once complete, parents will be charged to use the play area. Kevin also plans to boost his range of drinks and snacks, and install a hot drinks offer. Access to the play area will be reached via the shop floor.

"It should have a dramatic impact on footfall and really help to boost store takings," he added. "The whole village is really excited about the opening."