The first store from a new fascia option for unaffiliated independent retailers is set to open its doors in Watford in February.

The ‘Your Local Top Up Store’ fascia has been created by Essex shopfitting company PJH with the aim of helping unaffiliated retailers trade more professionally in the increasingly competitive retail marketplace.

“About 19,000 non-affiliated independents are unwilling to join a symbol group because they fear the costs and the loss of independence. We understand this and that’s why we’ve launched the Your Local Top Up Store fascia, which will allow them to look and trade more professionally but without most of the ties associated with symbol group membership,” sales co-ordinator Patricia Kendrew told Convenience Store.

In addition to the Your Local Top Up Store fascia, retailers who sign up are also being promised bespoke promotional and advertising material to coincide with key seasonal events, a personalised website and branded staff uniforms.

They will also receive PJH’s tailor-made epos system and back office support, plus the tools to run a customer loyalty card and reward scheme.

Retailers will have to pay a fee in order to receive the fascia and support package, but this would be offset by the sales boost generated by the “total image upgrade,” Kendrew said.

“Our motto is ‘partners in profit’ and we believe that having a partner with specialised skills can be the most profitable decision retailers can make to protect both their business and financial future,” she added.

Retailers who sign up will continue to buy stock via their regular routes, and so won’t be tied to minimum order requirements. However, PJH may look into partnering with a grocery supplier later in the year.

For more information call 0208 505 0333 or email