Beers, wines and spirits, in-store bakery and, where space permits, freshly prepared food to go have been identified as the areas that Londis stores can be "famous for" in their local communities, and will play a central role in future store development for the group, according to sales director Garry Craft.
"In these three categories the whole thing has to come to life," Craft told C-Store. "Retailers need to give them enough space, we need to give them access to the right range, and then it's all about the staff."
The first pilot under the new brand concept, Steve and Vicky Bassett's store in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, Dorset, was relaunched nearly three weeks ago. The group hopes to get a further 12-15 test outlets up and running by the end of the year, covering a range of locations and store formats.
Craft explained that independent retailers' own personalities will be a key feature of the new Londis brand.
"We need a greater degree of consistency and clarity, and then we will be able to make clear statements about what we are about," he said. "Consumers are telling us that the things independents do well should come to the fore. Shoppers go to an independent largely because of the retailer himself so, for it to work, the retailer has to be visible and his personality has to come through."
Each store will feature a personalised message from the retailer and will aim to become even more closely involved in their communities.
Steve gave his new store the thumbs up, adding: "Spend is up 25p per visit."