Alpesh and Bimal Patel have worked with Londis to transform their small 480sq ft grocery store in London’s Finsbury Park into a modern 2,800sq ft c-store that provides everything today’s demanding shoppers require. Their latest refit included an extra 7.5m in chillers and an investment in energy-saving equipment, something that earned them the title Energy Efficient Store of the Year at the Convenience Retail Awards 2014. The brothers believe a business needs to keep evolving: “It’s important for staff to work, and customers to shop, in a nice environment. Every refit breathes new life into the business,” says Alpesh.
Energy Efficient Store of the Year
Londis Finsbury Park beat off stiff competition to claim the Energy Efficient Store of the Year title, sponsored by Npower, at the 2014 Convenience Retail Awards.
The judges were blown away by the store’s 52% reduction in overall energy consumption – achieved despite it having also increased its reliance on refrigeration. Npower judge Marlene Webley says: “The signage throughout the store demonstrates to staff and customers how seriously it takes energy efficiency. The monitoring system which triggers a text alert if the fridge temperatures rise or fall is also commendable,” she adds.
Alpesh and Bimal added 7.5m of chillers to house more dairy, juices and healthier options as fresh food is a lucrative area for them, accounting for a whopping 33% of shop sales.
A wagon makes an eye-catching way to display fresh fruit and veg. Customers can find anything from apples and pears to avocados and sweet potatoes.
There’s an extensive salad range with 13 different types/packs of tomatoes, as well as more unusual lines such as alfalfa sprouts.
There are 40 CCTV cameras across the floor, which means no blind spots anywhere in the store and nowhere for shoplifters to hide. It also has an impressive back office which looks out onto the shop.
Catering for everyone
Customers with discerning tastes (and bulging wallets) are catered for with items including Posh Birds’ Quails eggs and £10.99 Manuka honey, but Alpesh says Londis’ pricing means all budgets are catered for.
Nine of the store’s refrigeration condensing units and all of the heat-pump air-conditioning units were replaced with two state-of-the-art Daikin Conveni-Pac (CVP) integrated refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, using the latest inverter-driven technology. These units cool the shop floor fridges while any excess heat is vented into the atmosphere, or collected then redistributed to the shop floor via ceiling cassettes.
Each unit can provide up to 25kW of free heat and is ample to heat the whole store.
Although 7.5m of new refrigeration was added during the refit, the store’s total energy consumption has gone done by 52%.
£17,000 was spent on LED lighting throughout the store; much of it is used to highlight products.
Beers and wines
The store’s beers and wines section stands out from the rest of the store thanks to its curved shelving and different flooring. Bimal works closely with suppliers, with many using the shop to trial new lines.
Feedback following the refit has been positive. The brothers’ efforts to reduce the carbon footprint have attracted much praise, as have the new layout and range. The store invites feedback via its suggestion box.