Cornwall LivingIssue #115
Flagship SPAR store in Carnon Downs adopts a welcome, fresh focus on all-things local.
After a complete restructure in May, the new SPAR store at Carnon Downs – part of Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for the national chain here in the south west – has recorded significant increases in sales and customer numbers in its first three months of trading.
The £400,000 scheme, which incorporated the new SPAR UK store design standard, saw the creation of a state-of-the-art, next generation flagship for Appleby Westward’s stable of 111 company-owned stores throughout the region. The updates themselves are, of course, part of the reason for the uptick in traffic and sales, but in order to fully analyse the recent success, it’s important to note that the store has a strong focus on provenance, with wide-ranging local Cornish products available across many categories. Add to this an up-front butchery counter (branded with the Cornish ‘Goon Karnen Kigti’) and there is a clear emphasis throughout the store on fresh, Cornish goods.
Butchery, fresh fruit and vegetables and other chilled produce are all at the front of the store as customers walk in, while a décor of dark grey fixtures and wood-effect tiles feature strongly among the warm colours, materials and finishes across the store. That’s not all, either, with other innovations including the introduction of a self-service ‘unwrapped’ refill station, where customers can bring their own containers and buy loose products such as nuts, cereals, rice and flour.
“We are immensely proud of this redevelopment, and it has made a hugely positive impact on our customers,” says Dean. “It is the biggest redevelopment scheme we have undertaken and it involved a major logistical process to take it from concept to completion.
“We redesigned the store to reflect the particular needs of our Carnon Downs customers, who are very enthusiastic about local products and sustainability.” And he’s right: with a real focus on local Cornish goods, plus messages throughout conveying support for local suppliers and producers, with Cornish goods identifiable by Cornish flag stickers, and it’s perhaps no wonder the new Carnon Downs SPAR has been such a big hit with those determined to join the steadily growing movement towards buying, and supporting, ‘local’.
Appleby Westward Group Ltd (SPAR)