J&J Haslett, operator of the Mace symbol in Northern Ireland, has opened its first Mace Express format in Belfast.
Tom Uprichard, delivered business director, J&J Haslett, said: “Mace Express is designed to complete the full gambit of convenience shopping under the Mace umbrella.
“It will be used to attract new stores to the family of Mace brands and there are a number of smaller Mace stores that will be converted to this format in due course.”
The format will be used for forecourt and high street stores of less than 1,000 sq ft. The stores will provide a CTN-style offering as well as sandwiches, food to go, single fruit and veg, a chilled offering and grocery.
Uprichard denied that Mace Express would replace Haslett’s cash and carry-supplied fascia XL Stop and Shop.
However, he did suggest that the format would appeal to those retailers who were prepared to switch to a delivered wholesale service.
He said: “This will not necessarily replace XL. There is more heritage associated with Mace but the retailer will need to be more disciplined than those running most current small store formats. This will particularly apply to issues such as the use of IT.
“Retailers will also need to co-invest in the development of their stores.”
Tesco, the other retailer in Northern Ireland with an Express fascia, has yet to add to its solitary Express store, although it is rumoured to be looking at developing further sites.

Ronan Hegarty
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Transport impact
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M&S Food sales up
Waitrose eyes Kent