Appleby Westward has revealed details of the new Spar UK store design concept being developed at its Carnon Downs store.

The store, located near Truro in Cornwall will be the first Spar site in the country to feature this concept following a £400,000 redevelopment.

The 2,600 sq.ft. Carnon Downs store is one of Appleby Westward’s 95 Gillett’s company-owned stores, and when complete, the state-of-the-art next generation store will include a strong focus on provenance. The store will feature a wide range of local Cornish products as well as an up-front butchery counter branded ‘Goon Karnen Kigti’, and added emphasis on the store’s reputation for fresh and chilled produce.

Under the new layout, the butchery section, fresh fruit and vegetables and other chilled produce will all be at the front of the store as customers walk in. The store will feature a décor of dark grey fixtures and wood effect tiles that feature strongly among warm colours, materials and finishes throughout the store, along with messages conveying support for local suppliers and producers, with products identified by Cornish flag stickers.

Sustainability and HFSS

There will be a refill station section where customers can bring their own containers and buy loose products such as nuts, cereals, pulses, rice and flour. Local wines, craft beers and an artisan bakery will also feature, and the layout will take into account the proposed High Fat Sugar Salt (HFSS) legislation.

As part of the refit plan, the store closed for two days in April while a mini move around was undertaken and then re-opened with a smaller store.

Appleby Westward plans to trade in 50% of the space while work is done in one half, then close again to move into the finished half while the other half is done. The store will close while new refrigeration is installed, and then scheduled to open on 29 May.

Appleby Westward’s company-owned stores director Steve Goswell explained the scope of the project. “This is the biggest store redevelopment scheme we have undertaken and has involved the whole executive board of Appleby Westward, along with Spar UK, in creating a major planning and logistics programme to bring this to fruition.

“The Carnon Downs store was in need of improvement and, as one of our most successful businesses, we decided it was the ideal location to make a major investment and introduce the new Spar UK store design at the same time.”

Area manager for the store Carl Bladon added: “It has been a major logistical exercise involving everyone including store manager Adam Savage and his team, Spar UK, Appleby Westward trading, merchandising and IT teams, along with putting the whole project out to tender. With the Covid restrictions in place, we have been holding regular Microsoft Teams meetings and this has definitely helped us all in having a more engaging interaction and in putting a robust plan together.”

Shopping missions

Spar UK retail director Ian Taylor explained the logic behind the redesign. “When we design stores, we adapt the format in line with customer demands. We see how the customers of this store are very passionate about local products and sustainability and as a result we are providing them with a store design and offer that reflects all these needs.

“We have worked very hard to create a new fresh store format that is focused on the split of shopping missions, ensuring the space and range is tailored to meet these customer needs.”