Last year Jai Patel invested £100,000 in refurbishing his Upper Beeding site in West Sussex to the Nisa ‘store of the future’ model. “We did the refit to keep up with trends - the previous refit was looking a bit tired. I felt it needed a new look,” he says. Jai put a focus on shopper missions and re-organised shelving and refrigeration. This had been installed in 2011 during the previous refit when he expanded into adjacent units in the village precinct. More focus has been put on fresh and fruit & veg, with positive results. To date, weekly sales at the 3,000sq ft store are up 6% to about £40,000.
A new look
Jai introduced new LED lighting throughout, removed the suspended ceilings and introduced an eye-catching ‘false brickwork’ effect.
He has enhanced food to go, which “wasn’t doing so well before”. He now offers a wide range of hot food to go, including breakfast baps in the morning, pasties and pies at lunch, and a new premium coffee unit. Most of the offer comes from Country Choice, but he also uses a local supplier for the pasties.
Fruit is now housed in wooden crates, helping to double sales. “The refit has brought more people in because of the general appearance,” Jai says.
Jai has introduced more local fruit & veg lines and expanded the loose section.
Sales of chilled, especially ready meals and fresh meat, are thriving.
Jai’s main customers are “people living across the road” in the village. His main competitor is the Co-op in neighbouring Steyning, but “we’re more independent, we cater for local demands”, he asserts. The nearest supermarket is a Tesco, about five miles away.
The store contributes to the local community through Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally initiative. A couple of donations of up to £700 a year go towards the church, the football team, or the sports hall, among other recipients.
The alcohol offer includes a wide range of chilled wines, beers and ciders, with overhead signs urging customers to ‘relax with a bottle’ and ‘chill with a can’.
Jai is planning to introduce a selection of high-end wines to meet customer demand.
An ales fixture features a range of local and national brands, while a number of cases of big brand beer line the floor, on promotion.