Karim and Maggie Rashid have seen a 25 per cent uplift in sales, year on year, since investing £400,000 in a refit at their Budgens store in Emmer Green, and the customer reaction says it all – “Fantastic!“
Karim, previously a manager for a retailer in the forecourt sector, bought the couple’s first forecourt site (with store) in 1997, which they ran independently until joining Budgens in 2005. The Rashids now own four Budgens stores (two on forecourt sites). They bought their latest, at Emmer Green, in 2008.
“It was Budgens’ professionalism and expert guidance on what products to stock, store layout and merchandising that first attracted me to the group, and kept me with Budgens ever since,” recalls Karim.
Now their business has grown in leaps and bounds.
The 4,500 sq ft Emmer Green site was a divested Budgens store, located in a busy shopping parade. When the Rashids took it over it was “in need of a complete overhaul” says Karim.
Like all Budgens retailers, a good fresh offer was high on Karim and Maggie’s agenda and the main focus of the redevelopment was to improve fresh. They increased the fresh range by 20 per cent and introduced a pre-packed deli offer. They also added a back-fill bakery unit and hot food/coffee is now available for the first time in a small food-to-go area at the front of the store. An enhanced alcohol range includes the introduction of chilled beers and wines.
To accommodate the enhanced fresh offer, new refrigeration has been installed, including a new plant room and air-conditioning/heating system.
The store’s fresh new look also includes improved lighting, a ramp at the store entrance and an extra till, taking the total number of tills at the checkout to five.
“We didn’t need to change the store layout, but the Budgens store development team remerchandised everything, using the latest Budgens planograms,” adds Karim.
Opening hours have been extended too, now staying open from 7 till 9 Monday – Saturday instead of the previous 8 till 8. Sundays remain the same at 10 till 4.
The new Budgens signage completes the fresh, new look, but the Budgens brand isn’t just about the sign above the shop entrance. The Budgens brand is the brand essence of ‘real food for today’s communities’ that Karim and Maggie bring to life with clarity and consistency throughout the store, from their store environment, products and service through to their passion, and that of their team, to support the local community.
The Rashids inherited their store manager, Simon Watson, who continues to work with them. They also have a general manager, David Brown, who they brought into the business to oversee all four sites. Their daughter Sarah used to run their forecourt at Frilford and has since moved to manage their forecourt site at Thrapston (their next redevelopment project).
Adds Karim: “We can now enjoy sharing our time between all the sites and spending more time with our grandchildren!“