When I first moved into the store in March I had seven days to get it open, so it was a big rush. Now that we are up and running, suppliers have seen the sales figures and are able to help fine-tune things.
We have an island chiller to the left as you enter the store, which was previously filled with soft drinks, and another chiller by the magazine display a little further back, which held our fresh produce. Donal Horgan, Budgens and Londis managing director, suggested our fresh offering should be moved to the island chiller, and it’s worked really well.
Now as customers come in they see bananas and pineapples on top of the island, and lots of impulse fresh foods such as small grape punnets, tubs of cous cous, olives, salads and so on. It’s given the store an upmarket image - now when they walk in, customers think of us as a community c-store, rather than a newsagent.
Our fresh wastage has halved because sales have increased. It’s down from 8% to 4%, and I reckon we can even reduce it further.
Londis has been brilliant. It’s thanks to them that the store is doing so well. I’ve had the regional sales manager, regional director and sales director visit a week ago and walk the store. I told them that SuperValu sandwiches are doing particularly well, so they’ve advised me to put more of them on the island, as well as in their current location in a chiller supplied by Britvic, which is next to the magazines at the side of the store.
The beauty of the Britvic chiller is that sandwiches and soft drinks can be displayed in the front, and then there are four ambient shelves on either end to hold a facing of crisps. This has allowed us to run a successful ‘buy a sandwich and drink and get a free pack of crisps’ meal deal. The problem with meal deals is that they can be too complex for consumers. By sending out a straightforward message using pos and a large banner outside, and locating all of the products close together, it makes it simple for shoppers to take part.
Britvic is also giving us another two double-door chillers to be placed where the magazine display is. The plan is for magazines to move to the rear, so that everything at the front of the store is impulse-led, and further back people can take time to browse.
Overall, sales have increased £4,000 in the past month and turnover is now £22,000. I’m hoping to get this to £30,000 further down the line.