Brothers Jamie (pictured) and Anish Keshwara have volunteered their Victory Avenue store in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, to be one of the test beds for Nisa’s next generation ‘store of the future’. The store has been organised around specific shopper missions, as well as having a new look and feel, including a new colour scheme, department labelling, promotional aisle ends and staff uniforms. This style will be rolled out across the Nisa symbol group estate in years to come
The store has been enlarged and realigned: previously, the sales space measured 1,800sq ft with the counter at the front, now it is 2,500sq ft with the counter at the side, and shoppers see the fresh food immediately on entry. New shelf tracking means that linear space has been increased by a total of 13%.
The store is easier to shop thanks to wider aisles, which also make shopping by mission simpler. The range has been carefully worked out by identifying the main missions first, then location and category space. Only then is the range selected.
Doors on chillers save energy, but there are other benefits, too. Jamie says: “For me, the biggest thing is getting rid of the cold aisles. It’s now a lot more comfortable for shoppers.”
Focus on missions
The store has been zoned according to missions, such as meal for tonight, top-up, treat, CTN and food to go. A particularly strong opportunity in top-up and meal solutions has been identified, and there are meal deals for snacking, breakfast, lunch and evening meals.
The gifting mission has its own section with cards, wrap and gift cards for high street stores and digital products sourced via PayPoint.
The treating mission is given a dedicated fixture, including ‘me deals’ combining magazines, confectionery and alcohol. Big Night In and seasonal items have their own bays. DVD rental performs well.
Pictures of the family, like these of Jamie and Anish, bring the store to life. Victory Avenue has been owned by the family for more than 20 years; they also have a larger Nisa store in the town.
Borrowing an idea from Waitrose, shoppers at Victory Avenue can vote by token as to which local charity the store should support.
New-style promotional bay ends are performing better, as there is more room for shoppers to walk around them and look at the offers.
Food to go
Nisa’s new food-to-go concept, equipped by Country Choice and Tchibo, is being trialled in the store, and Jamie admits it is probably the biggest single change. “At first I was worried about whether we’d be able to reach the £1,000 minimum spend, but we’re already ordering more than £2,000-worth per week,” he exclaims.
Food for now is all in one area. While the food to go offer is being established, the store has stopped stocking sandwiches, although they are expected to return at a later date. The focus is currently on baguettes, to encourage people to think about value.
The offer includes freshly prepared pizzas – here demonstrated by Anish – that can be made to order while customers complete the rest of their shopping. The store uses the phrase “one minute to make, four minutes to bake”.
Sales are running at an average of £31k excluding VAT and services, with sales reaching £34k in the week that C-Store visited. This is up 11.5% without any local marketing – the official launch takes place this month.
Media screens showing special offers give the store a modern look, and Jamie has plans to adapt them to include messages about local produce as well as national offers and Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity programme.
There is also free wi-fi for shoppers. “We want customers to use it for themselves, but eventually we’ll use it to push information to them as well.”