Costcutter Farnworth - the first store to adopt Costcutter’s new premium store planning guidelines - has recorded a £1m sales boost.

Owners Baz and Dhara Jethwa invested in a £400,000 refit last year which saw it double in size and add an in-store bakery, butcher’s department, fresh locally-sourced foods and a Costa Coffee refreshment area.

The decision followed customer research which revealed that local people wanted to be able to shop across fresh, ambient, chilled and frozen products and enjoy more locally-sourced food.

Hot food and refreshments to go were also high on their list of priorities, together with the ability to pay bills and use a cash machine.

“We now meet all those demands and with Costa Coffee and an in-store bakery we are attracting a much higher food to go market,” Baz said.

The major investment has seen turnover increase by 55% to £2.7m this year, creating 14 new jobs.

Footfall has doubled, average weekly customer spend has grown by 50% and chilled and fresh produce sales have grown by almost 250%.

The new Independent product range and Costcutter’s national TV advertising campaign had also contributed to the boost, he added.

“We’ve enjoyed the benefits of being part of Costcutter for 10 years now, so we know how strong the support is right across the chain, from head office to area management,” said Baz.

“That support and the premium store planning guidelines were invaluable during the refit project, which was a major investment for us.

“We’re delighted that it more than paid for itself in the first year and we’re now planning a similar redevelopment programme at our second store in Bolton.”

Baz and Dhara held a community party on Saturday 29 August to thank customers for their support. The day included entertainment, face painting, a bouncy castle, band and local food tastings.