A Spar/Tates store built around a food-to-go café is offering a glimpse of the future of convenience shopping, with local residents choosing the edge-of-town site despite the presence of a Tesco Extra half a mile away.
The 3,000sq ft Spar Battlefield near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, is on the junction of two major roads which see 48,000 cars passing in a 24-hour period. Although designed as a transit site, it is proving popular as a destination for locals, with food to go the main attraction.
All aisles in the store lead to a continental café-style area, which includes a hot food counter, smoothie bar and self-serve coffee as well as tables, TV screens and customer toilets. The area occupies approximately 20% of the floor space and, at almost £6,000 a week, is second only to cigarettes and tobacco in its contribution to revenue. The store is open 24 hours and has averaged 10,500 customers a week since opening in January.
Tates managing director Geoff Hallam said that the café-style food to go area was first on the floor plan when the store layout was designed. He added: "Although it's on an excellent transit site, locals are making short trips to come here. In fact, we've been asked if we can put up a community noticeboard, which suggests it's being seen as a hub of the area."