Martin McColl has unveiled the latest addition to its

portfolio, which, it has revealed, is to become a template for others in its convenience store estate.

The new store, on the site of a former Londis, which was demolished, has a range of new features, including internal third-party branding, a food-to-go area and open fridges.

Trading director Tony Start, speaking at the opening of the 2,400 sq ft outlet in Bromyard, Herefordshire, described it as a "model store". "Bromyard is a brand new store, so it's a template that we can roll out across the rest of our convenience stores," he added.

Start said the new internal branding, on signs hanging from the ceiling around the store, was designed to mirror new

fascias on the shop fronts.

"We think this makes the customers understand our offer. It makes them feel comfortable to have brands they recognise, such as Mars and Stella, advertised."

The Bromyard store also has a food-to-go area offering hot savouries and coffee. Start said that Martin McColl was in talks with baker Cuisine de France to supply stores with a range of doughnuts and pasties. "It won't be a huge range," he said. "But for us six savouries and muffins

are enough."

Start has set the ambitious target of replacing all Martin McColl's existing double-door fridges with a more accessible open front chiller, currently being used at Bromyard.

"We noticed we can add 6%-8% on to drink sales by having an open front chiller," he said. "We want 3,000 new fridges to go into stores before the end of the year and another 2,000 to go in after that."

Start said Martin McColl was also keen to source products such as milk, bread, fruit and vegetables locally as often as possible across its estate so that

customers felt stores had

a link with the local area.

Martin McColl, known until last June as TM Retail, now has 332 convenience stores and 945 newsagents.