Appleby Westward Group Limited: Store Sees Uplift In Fresh Food Sales

Customers have been full of praise for the transformation of a SPAR forecourt store following a £100,000 co-investment development scheme carried out by the owners and Appleby Westward.

The store, in Station Road, Ilminster, is run by John and Linda McKinnon with their son Laurie and his fiancée Leah – and the family are as delighted with the results as their customers.

“Our customers have been full of admiration for what we have done, and we are very pleased with the results too,” said John. “I think it compares more than favourably with anything you would find in a Sainsbury’s Local or Waitrose Local. We have adopted the best principles of SPAR alongside some of the market leaders, and the end result shows.”

The redevelopment scheme has created a new shop front with new imagery and a relocated store entrance enabling customers to gain an instantly favourable impression of the store’s main attractions.

These include a substantial increase in the amount of chilled refrigeration equipment, some of which is fitted with eco-friendly doors, creating one of the largest chilled alcohol displays of any convenience store in the area. The 1,800 sq.ft. store has a strong focus on fresh and chilled produce, frozen foods and an extended bakery range, as well as a Costa coffee offer. The strength of the Costa brand has attracted customers from the nearby housing estates to pop in for a cup of coffee, as well as passing trade.

“Everything a customer could want for tonight’s supper is now available here in this store, and that is the message we are putting out,” said John. “Already we are seeing an uplift in sales for produce, chilled and ready meals.

“Business is always a bit challenging at this time of the year, particularly in the current economic climate, but I believe that from March onwards we will really start to see the benefits of what we have done here coming through in significantly increased sales.”

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