Independent retailers Ron and Yvonne Ford have opened the first of Costcutter’s next-generation Shopper First stores, in Darfield, South Yorkshire.

Costcutter announced the Shopper First rebranding programme last October, backed up by a new toolkit for retailers to enable them to tailor their offer precisely to their local catchment.

As part of the programme, all 2,500-plus stores across the group’s symbols fascias have been given a bespoke demographic profile of customers in their catchment so they can refine their range and services.

Ron, who owns four other Costcutter stores in South Yorkshire, said the new-build 2,800 sq ft Darfield unit would transform the ability to connect with shoppers and drive footfall.

“As a new-build store, the shopper insights have been crucial and I am confident that we have created a store that will engage with the local community and deliver their everyday shopping needs,” he added.

Sarah Day, head of retail marketing at Costcutter, said the company had “a full pilot programme set to roll out” and more would open by the end of March.

The new format features the company’s new strapline with the new-style window graphics and at key communication points within the stores and on advertising and consumer leaflets.

“Day said it brought to life Costcutter’s mission “to create a first-rate shopper experience and be there to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers.”

The hew store design was “a step change” in convenience retailing with the selection of “stunning exterior and interior finishes” that appealed to todays’ shoppers.

“The fully flexible modular approach allows retailers to invest at a pace that suits their individual needs and focus on the key shopper missions,” Day said.

This year would also see the rollout of Costcutter’s new food to go offer giving retailers a framework around which they could create a fully tailored offer, both in size and product mix.

“Unveiling the Shopper First programme was the most important announcement in our 30-year history and opening the first pilot store just three months later is a significant milestone,” said Day.