My business relationship with our symbol partner, Costcutter, recently passed the 10-year milestone. Over this time I’ve developed great working friendships with many members of the Costcutter team and been on quite a journey with our existing Costcutter stores in Bromsgrove and Kidderminster.

When you work with a group of people and a firm for so long, with mutual benefit, then it seems hard to consider other options when deciding which symbol group to assign to a new site.  But, each site is unique and what necessarily works at one store, may not work at your next. 

If, like me, you are a big believer in systems and processes and use your epos system to help drive the business, then opting for a new symbol partner while working on your existing stores is a daunting task.
Costcutter could have easily served the needs of the affluent village community at our new store in Inkberrow. The village has a middle-aged population and a growing number of new family households, and Costcutter’s quality design and store layouts would have seamlessly slotted in to the local environment offering a clean, modern and vibrant convenience store. 

However, I’ve always had a vision for the type of look and feel that I want to achieve at Inkberrow, and when Costcutter Supermarkets Group took a stake in the Simply Fresh brand last year, my interest was instantly spiked.

Having seen pictures of new Simply Fresh sites such as Downton, which featured in Convenience Store last issue (28 August), and having visited a Simply Fresh store in nearby Alcester, I was confident that the brand would be the perfect fit for the area and our business.

The CSG stake in Simply Fresh means I can continue to use the same epos system, work with the same product range and benefit from the P&H supply. A meeting with the Simply Fresh team confirmed that it would be best placed to achieve my vision for a rustic, rural feel at Inkberrow. 

Serving an affluent clientèle in a rural setting with a store feel and look to match will work well.  Placing emphasis on fresh produce and BWS, complemented by a good core range, will hopefully meet our customers’ expectations.