Sales and margins at a Leeds-based Londis store have soared since converting to the symbol group’s latest ‘store of the future’ format.
Londis Woodhouse Street, owned by the Bhadal family, has seen year-on-year sales and margins rise by 25% and 30% respectively since reopening in March following an extensive refit.
Under the new format, greater prominence has been given to food to go, coffee, and emerging food trends, while more space has been created by removing a gondola and 300 lines of ambient grocery. Meanwhile, chilled sales are up 50%.
Eye-catching Point of Sale (POS) highlights value and health benefits of particular products, including ‘sugar free’ soft drinks, ‘gluten free’, ‘free from’ and ‘protein’ lines. An American confectionery fixture also caters to the large student demographic.
The backlit gantry now accommodates an extensive spirits range, including a number of premium lines, with tobacco now stocked in drawers underneath the till. Media screens at the point of sale also highlight promotions within the store.
The off licence offers an extensive range of chilled beers and wines, including on-trend craft beer cans, as well as stacks of beer cases.
Owner Peter Bhadal said the revamped 1,800sq ft store had re-engaged his customers. “Their reaction was ‘have you extended the store?’ because it feels like there’s so much more space now. They didn’t notice we’d taken 300 lines of tinned grocery out,” he told C-Store.
“We’ve brought in a lot of shoppers who were going to the nearby Lidl and Waitrose. One Waitrose shopper said our ready meals [Booker’s Discover the Choice brand] were fantastic, he comes in every day for them. To have that comparison with Waitrose blows my mind.”
Londis brand director Martin Swadling said the latest format would be available to other Londis retailers. He added: “Traditional footfall drivers are in decline, so we wanted to make food to go and coffee prominent and smart when you walk in the store.
“We also wanted to do more to highlight value, which is something we scored badly on in HIM’s CTP (Convenience Tracking Programme). The old POS was quite fussy and you couldn’t see the price.
“We wanted to highlight the health benefits of products at the point of purchase. Every Londis needs an element of protein and ‘free from’.”
Other successful changes included bringing out the medical fixture on to the shop floor, resulting in a “massive difference in sales”, and introducing the on trend American confectionary fixture, which combines well with the own label and branded regular confectionery, he added.