Rusdene Services signs deal with Londis

Ollie Lodge of Rusdene Services, who owns a Budgens store in West Meon, has just signed a deal with Londis to supply two of his non branded forecourts in Hampshire with plans to supply a third store in Wiltshire later in the year. The stores will be rebranded as Londis and will undergo redevelopments.

Says Ollie Lodge: “We already have a strong relationship with Budgens at West Meon, so it was a natural fit to partner with Londis to drive our forecourt business at these sites.  These CTN based stores on forecourt sites have smaller formats that wouldn’t fit the Budgens model, but Londis is the perfect fit. With Londis we can develop our fresh and alcohol offers and make the most of the simple, flexible relationship and expertise from the Londis team.

Ollie and his father Derek, who still plays a very active role in the business, are well known in the forecourt industry, having run Rusdene Services for over 20 years, and also well respected figures in the local business world.

The first two stores, at Waterlooville and Botley, relaunched as Londis in June.

Both rebranded stores are 800 sq ft and previously operated under the Smile fascia. Both have undergone small makeovers and range reviews with new fixtures, fittings and Londis branding added throughout. The key focus is on fresh and alcohol.

Space allocated to fresh has doubled at both sites – to 2.5m at Waterlooville and 5m at Botley. A core range of chilled has been introduced, including ready meals and the fresh produce range has been dramatically enhanced.

The busy forecourt at Waterlooville is surrounded by light commercial and industrial businesses, so the range has been tailored to maximise the customer spend, including a focus on chilled snacking for lunchtime and ready meals for the end of day, whilst building on the core CTN strengths of the site.

Conversely, Botley is a village, where the core focus at the forecourt store is on dairy plus fresh produce, rationalising the existing products to create space for enhanced ranges.  Competition comes from two Co ops nearby.

Likewise with alcohol, the focus is on improving the range. The range at both sites has grown by 30 per cent with a big emphasis on chilling white/rose wines and beers where previously there was a limited amount of chilled.

The promotional impact in store has also been raised. There are now floor stacks and gondola ends to create theatre in the off licence sections to drive footfall and sales.

A big range of own brand wines was introduced at Botley, based on the success of own brand wines at the Budgens store in West Meon.

The core range of grocery has been significantly enhanced at both sites, stripping out slow sellers and focusing on a composite core range of grocery to offer customers ‘all you need for everyday living’.

Says Paul Courtney, Londis Sales Director: “I’m very pleased to be working with this well known, long established business to help them grow their forecourt stores with Londis.

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