Costcutter has unveiled a new fascia package designed to give retail members greater flexibility in their store offer and appearance.

A new MyCostcutter fascia is predominantly black rather than the group’s familiar white, and is designed to be an upmarket option with a more premium feel both internally and externally. The new design has been created following consultation with member retailers, who identified the need to have different fascias for different market segments.

The traditional Costcutter fascia has also been refreshed to feature cleaner lines, bolder colours and more natural light for the store. Window vinyls will also use images of products rather than people.

Costcutter executive chairman Colin Graves told C-Store: “It’s essentially a revamp of what we’ve got, but the black fascia is for top-quality stores and it gives us something different. The black fascia could potentially be used in about 100 of the group’s 1,600 outlets, but we’re not going to jump in and say we’ll have 50 next month or whatever. We’ll roll it out as and when. Retailers will have to invest money, but it will enable them to keep up with the likes of M&S and Waitrose.”

Graves added that the Kwik Save brand name, now owned by Costcutter, gives a third option for retailers who want to compete at the budget end.

Costcutter managing director Nick Ivel continued: “There isn’t just one convenience market there are the lower-end cash and carry-type fascias, then you have the likes of M&S at the top end, and a very congested middle. We want to make sure we can operate in all three areas.

“The new options enable us to develop different tiers of service, and there will be different disciplines in each one.”

Ivel added that the same promotional programme will operate for both the black and the white fascias.

The new programme was officially unveiled this week as part of Costcutter’s 25th anniversary celebrations. At the same time the group launched a new consumer-facing website designed to make greater use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to help connect with the local community.

The group has also introduced its new Retail Excellence Diploma in c-store retailing. Approved by Leeds City College, the training programme involves a combination of classroom training, in-store learning and practical assignments, and is free for Costcutter retailers.