Convenience stores

Spar targets smaller convenience stores with plans for new format | New

Spar aims to shake up the competition among smaller convenience stores, with plans for a new store format.

MD Louise Hoste told The Grocer that the symbol group is exploring a new urban and transitional store format that targets on-the-go shoppers.

While planning was in its infancy, Hoste said it would suit downtown stores around 1,000 square feet, with a strong emphasis on “food for now, rather than food for later. “.

However, Hoste explained that there might be another version of the format suitable for a more rural location, for “tonight tea”.

It comes after the company announced last month that it would invest £122million in its supply chain and stores over the next 12 months, including store acquisitions, redevelopments, new trucks and storage facilities.

“We’re starting to explore what a plan for a smaller store that reflects a true transitional, mobile type format with a basic convenience store offering would look like,” Hoste said.

“The product available in each store will be aligned with its dominant customer mission, so if it is a walk-through store or downtown, then it would be food for now. If it’s on the outskirts of a village, then this might be tonight’s tea.

“We will look to get the most out of these select smaller stores and ensure the proposition matches the most relevant customer mission for each store to drive more profit for the store owner. We are currently investigating potential test sites.

She said the symbol group would learn from Henderson’s recent launch of a new retail format at the 2,500 square foot store at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. It was specifically designed to meet the needs of the university’s 27,000 students and staff, bringing new food concepts and design features such as a non-dairy self-serve coffee concept.

But Hoste said the company won’t replicate the format in its entirety. “You have students who want food now, but at the same time during downtime you have teachers who want dinner tonight, so I think that’s a pretty specific format,” she said. declared.

Premier introduced a new format for small convenience stores earlier this year at a 600 square foot site in Wheatley Hill, near Durham. The format emphasized fresh and chilled produce, as well as take-out food, vaping, and premium spirits. It also included a post office.

Nisa is also targeting retailers operating in more compact spaces of up to 1,000 square feet with its Express store format which launched in 2020. It told The Grocer in February that it aims to have 40 stores operating under the fascia by the end of the year.