after fascia

Source: Nisa

  • Owner Siva Thievanayagan bought the store last year, along with an unused unit next door

  • Sales at the store in St Neot’s were up 100% in its first week of opening at the end of May


A Nisa retailer has officially opened a new store in Cambridgeshire after a major extension and refurbishment despite the development taking place in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales at the store in St Neot’s, owned by Siva Thievanayagan, were up 100% in its first week of opening at the end of May, increasing from an average £9,000 per week under the previous ownership to £20,000.

Thievanayagan bought the store last year, along with an unused unit next door, and transformed the business from a small corner shop to a full convenience offer.

The original store was less than 1,500 sq ft with structural columns in the middle and varying floor levels leading to restricted space for chilled, frozen and ambient.

Now, all the additional space from the neighbouring unit has been used to extend the shop floor to more than 2,500 sq ft.

The new owner has installed two self-service checkouts, a dedicated bakery including a small deli counter and a food-to-go offer including freshly made sandwiches, as well as Costa Coffee and Tango Ice-blast and F’real milkshakes.

The off-licence has been improved in size, increasing from three to seven bays.

In total, the space for chilled produce has tripled in size from six to 18 bays and frozen has doubled by replacing two chest freezers with five upright ones.

“It took longer than I hoped it would to complete the project with some problems early on and then the coronavirus, but I am really pleased with the result,” Thievanayagan said.

“I wanted to use the space to create a really welcoming store for our customers so that when they come in, they think how amazing it is and that’s what they now get when they walk through the doors.

“We also stock local products and our staff are from the local community, which has helped create a really local feel that makes our shoppers comfortable and want to come back.”

Vicky Lockie, Nisa head of key accounts, added: “We are so pleased to have been able to support Siva with his latest venture, particularly so considering the challenges faced due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a really great team effort.”