Jeremy Symonds has opened his fifth Londis store. Located on a forecourt in Gloucester, this is one of seven forecourt sites currently owned and operated by Symonds Forecourts in the West Country, including four Londis and two Budgens. They are about to open their third Budgens store on a forecourt in Wells.
‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ was on board to launch the latest Londis site where celebrations for local residents included a live broadcast outside the store from Heart FM plus a free car wash service, free teas and coffees and the chance to win £250 in a free prize draw. The charity launch day also helped to raise over £1,000 for ‘Have a Heart’ and ‘Help for Heroes’.
Says Jeremy Symonds, CEO of Symonds Forecourts: “It’s great to work in partnership with Londis, which is an established brand, and yet we can also add our own flair and local flavour. We’re delighted with our new-look store and more importantly, so are our customers. We’re attracting new people every day.”
The total investment of £100,000 included renovating the Gloucester forecourt site and 2,000 sq ft store. With its new fuel supplier Jet, instead of Texaco, the site is now positioned as the cheapest in Gloucester for fuel.
The main aim for the store was to attract new customers and increase sales of fresh foods. As well as 4m of dairy and cooked meats they’ve added a 1m run of chilled fresh produce plus a new 3m snacking chiller at the front of the store. And with a focus on offering ‘all you need for everyday living’ sales of fresh foods have increased by around 30 per cent since the refit.
The off licence is a key feature in the store and there are now two 3.75m chillers plus 12m of ambient and floor stacks to create a greater impact in this area. The store also boasts a Subway franchise and supports local suppliers, stocking locally-produced sandwiches and cider.
Symonds Forecourts worked in partnership with the Londis store development team on the project, as well as key suppliers. To increase category sales for soft drinks they worked closely with Coca Cola, Red Bull and Danone on layout. And to maximise additional sales at the checkout they implemented Cadbury’s new queue management system, resulting in better-managed queues and boosted confectionery sales.
Trading has been brisk in the first couple of weeks since the launch and the store is on track to reach its budgeted target.
The new Londis store opens 24 hours, seven days a week.