Musgrave Group independent retail brand Budgens has adapted its “new-concept” store so that it works in smaller outlets. It has refitted its 2,950 sq ft Byfleet, Surrey, unit, just three months after a pilot 6,137 sq ft outlet opened in Broadstone, Dorset.
Byfleet is the first compact market town store to adopt the new concept, which focuses on a strong lunch offering, top-up shop and meal for tonight, incorporating authentic, affordable, artisanal and locally produced foods. Dan Rapson, Byfleet’s manager, said the fresh food selection had been increased, the store had a “really nice” bakery and “lots of fantastic new local suppliers”.
Other improvements include a Discover the Taste selection, free WiFi in store and a Free Coffee Friday initiative which offers customers a free coffee when spending £10 or more in store.
The official launch on Saturday was marked by the attendance of TV chef and writer Anjum Anand who met and greeted customers. Up to 2,000 of Arnand’s The Spice Tailor kits were delivered to local residents as part of a doorstep campaign in the week of the relaunch. The company believes Byfleet will serve as a good example of how the concept can be rolled out at a lower cost.
Mike Baker, Budgens director, said: “It’s great to see the new concept being adapted to a smaller format store – the changes in Broadstone have been really well received with sales revenue up 25%, and I’m confident we’ll get a similar reaction here.”
A third is scheduled to open in Crouch End, north London, in March, the largest new-concept store to date at 8,647 sq ft.
A spokeswoman said: “At the moment it’s still deemed kind of a pilot. It’s all going in the right direction.” Once Crouch End opened, she continued, the company would need to continue to test the format before moving into a bigger rollout in the second half of the year.