The words Farrow & Ball paint and convenience stores aren’t often uttered in the same sentence – except that is, at Dean Holborn’s newly-refurbished store in Redhill, Surrey, where a union between the two has created a store so tasteful that even the yummiest of Surrey mummies can’t get enough. The £250,000 extension and refit took more than 14 weeks to complete (more than a month longer than expected) during which time trade was conducted out of a shipping container. However, the effort has proved worthwhile, with sales in the fourth week 15% up on pre-refit figures. After more than 40 years of trading, this is one business that is now perfectly primed for the future.
The dark grey exterior wasn’t always in the plan. “We were going to paint it green, but when we applied the dark grey undercoat everyone said ‘Wow, that looks fantastic’ so we ended up sticking with that!” laughs Dean.
Graphics highlighting the 40-year trading history and range of chilled and food to go adorn the windows.
Displays of locally-sourced cut flowers and plants add a splash of colour to the exterior. Dean plans to add chairs and tables outside where shoppers can enjoy freshly-made Tchibo coffees.
One of the biggest jobs in the refurbishment was to level the shop floor, which was previously at two heights. The new block and beam shop floor weighs just over 35 tonnes and has been extended to 1,800sq ft.
Wide uncluttered aisles add to the feeling of light and space and are proving popular with wheelchair users and parents with young children.
Dark painted wooden slats are used in the ceiling of the off-licence section, and a wood floor was laid to create a premium ‘shop within a shop’ feel.
The front of the store features an upmarket ‘coffee bar’ with globe lights, tiled splashback and chalk-painted display boxes for home-baked cakes and pastries. The boxes were bought cheaply online and then painted.
The extension has allowed Dean to make a much more significant investment in chilled, moving from four metres of chilled space to just under 10 metres.
The development has allowed him to introduce fresh meat, including a number of products from the Independent brand, which is receiving “very positive” customer feedback.
All the fridges, which have energy-saving doors, were supplied by Delta Refrigeration. The smart units ensure a comfortable in-store temperature.
The wood-panelled counter has been painted in the same shade (Farrow & Ball Pigeon) as the coffee bar and display tables, and is topped with a smart country kitchen-style oak panel.
Two front-facing tills from PCMS have been added to the spacious counter area. The tills can be used to display local advertising, promotions and information about the store’s own community work. “Customers also like them as they can see exactly how much they are spending and watch the discounts come off, which adds to that feeling of trust and security,” Dean says.
The raised till area looks out over the whole store and is fronted by a particularly wide aisle.
Fruit and vegetables
Fresh fruit and veg takes pride of place at the front of store, displayed in attractive wicker baskets with chalkboard price labels. The extra space given to the range allows seasonal products such as British cherries to be stocked. Builders’ hessian used to protect bricks in builders yards has been used to create an attractive lining for the wooden display boxes.