Key Lekkerland is testing a new concept Key Store design to challenge rival symbol group packages such as Londis Genesis and Spar Millennium.
Speaking at the annual Key Lekkerland conference, John Liptrot, commercial director for Key Lekkerland, said: “New visual merchandising and store fascias are under review with plans for a relaunch next year.”
The buying group has enlisted the help of design consultancy Red Rocket to review its external image.
Liptrot added: “We hope to launch the new fascia at the Convenience Retailing Show in March 2005 if all goes well.”
He confirmed the new look would be available to all retailers who were signed up to Key Lekkerland’s Key Store symbol group package.
As part of the initiative, a new internal store design is being launched at an existing Key Store in Harlow, Essex, later this month. The 1,000 sq ft CTN-based outlet supplied by AC Ward, one of Key Lekkerland’s four wholesalers, will incorporate new fittings and point of sale material.
If the trial significantly boosts sales, said Liptrot, the concept could be rolled out across AC Ward’s Key Store customers in the new year.
He also suggested it could be used as a blueprint for Key Store retailers supplied by other Key Lekkerland wholesalers.
The Harlow refit has been managed by Dave Ellis, the head of retail development who joined AC Ward in March.
He said: “We have been working on a test store to rival symbol group packages such as Londis Genesis or Spar Millennium. So we have developed a cost-effective retail development offering for independents.”
Ellis said the store’s redesign had cost £20,000, but precise amounts would vary as retailers would be able to adopt the whole package or elements of it.
Liptrot said that Key Lekkerland’s four wholesalers, AC Ward, JW Filshill, WH & HM Young & Son and T&A Symonds, all had volume sales growth in the last year that reached double-digit figures.
The growth had been driven by Key Lekkerland’s Smart Buy retail club promotions programme, said Liptrot.
Rod Addy