An innovative new Premier store in Hull is already turnover over £25,000 per week on healthy margins, thanks to its focus on food to go, premium coffee, on-trend categories and other modern footfall drivers.
Retailer Joe Punian reopened the former Spar store in Hull’s Victoria Dock in February, following a £130,000 refit. While sales are already higher-than-expected, he is also reaping an overall 23% margin, up about 3% on average margins.
“Eventually I’d like to get to over £30,000 per week. That extra 3% margin makes a crucial difference, and I’ve been surprised by the success of food to go and coffee, as well as all the fresh and chilled from Booker,” he told C-Store.
The store exterior features Premier’s latest fascia which focuses on the opening times, while live images promote the coffee, bakery and sandwiches, alongside POS highlighting promotions on everyday products such as bread, milk and sugar.
On entering the 2,200sq ft store, a small seating area includes charging points and free wi-fi to cater for Millennials, while the premium coffee station is selling 600 cups a week, driven by a loyalty card offering discounts. The coffee station also provides hot water for porridge and a wide range of noodles, including premium Itsu products.
Hot food to go is delivered free from the cash & carry, while chilled food to go includes a broad selection of homemade sandwiches, which are selling at a rate of about 75 lines each day.
The store is also selling up to £400 per week of products from a local bakery, which said it would operate a ‘sale or return’ policy if Joe doubles his order.
Meanwhile, a protein fixture is turning over up to £350 per week, a high-margin American confectionery area is proving “massively popular”, while a children’s section incorporates a slush machine selling 500 cups a week. The store also offers free fruit to children before 9.00am.
The store provides meal for tonight deals including Discover the Choice ready meals, as well as frozen meal deals.
The gantry area showcases an eye-catching range of spirits, including 32 different gins, and flavoured vodkas which are proving popular with Millennials. The alcohol offer also includes a selection of premium wines alongside promoted wines, craft beers and a wide range of chilled beer cases. Local breweries also do store tastings.
A recent offer on pink gins, promoted on social media, resulted in the sale of 86 bottles over one weekend, Joe said, who has 25 years’ experience as a Premier retailer.
Premier brand director Martyn Parkinson said: “We focused on how we could drive people to the store. The store is starting to attract different age groups with its ‘newness’ combined with elements of a traditional c-store.”
He pointed to the importance of the exterior marketing, as well as the free-to-use external ATM, which was seeing 5,000 withdrawals a month, the ample parking area, a bike rack, a ‘paws for refreshment’ dog bowl outside the entrance, and a Hermes parcel collection service as key footfall drivers.
The store also sells products not usually associated with Premier stores, such as Quorn vegetarian lines. “They’re selling at about 30 a week – those customers would’ve otherwise gone somewhere else,” he added.
Parkinson said the latest Premier format, which would be tailored to individual stores, would enable retailers to increase margins. “If the National Living Wage goes up retailers will have to make £500-£800 per week just to stand still.”