Award-winning Budgens retailer David Knight has reopened his recently-acquired store in Henfield, West Sussex, following a £450,000 refurbishment which has transformed the premises into an “eco-friendly food market on a grand scale”.

David bought the 6,200sq ft store in December before closing it for two weeks at the end of January for the refit. “I wanted to right some of the wrongs of the old store, which was quite tired and hadn’t been invested in for 13 years,” he said.

Since the relaunch on 13 February, the store has seen a 20% increase in sales, 10% increase in footfall, and 15% rise in basket spend.

He has installed a heat reclaim system and eco-friendly refrigeration with “doors on everything” to reduce power consumption, as well as LED lighting.

David has doubled the fresh food space, adding 500 lines and re-siting the Cook ready meal section in the main fresh aisle. The number of local suppliers has increased from just three in the previous store to 52.

The Beer, Wine and Spirits (BWS) section has been transformed into a “shop within a shop” with enhanced refrigeration for beer and wine.

He has also added a gluten-free end which has already been “phenomenally successful,” he said. “The demographic here warrants this type of health food, but I’d recommend any retailer to get behind it.”

David added: “The project has not been without its challenges. We over-ran by two days because the wrong equipment was ordered and the wrong heat recovery software installed, things we hadn’t foreseen. We had to adapt quickly, but we completed it in just 14 days.

“Customers seem to love what we are doing, particularly the local foods.”

David’s other store, Knight’s Budgens of Hassocks, won top prize at the Convenience Retail Awards 2012.