Blackburn-based halal foods company KQF has reported a big uplift in sales since opening its first standalone store almost a year ago.

The company - which has a 600 sq ft factory store and an online grocery business - opened a 5,000 sq ft unaffiliated convenience store last November. Since opening, the store has seen weekly turnover climb 30% to £60,000, or to £3.12m a year.

The number of SKUs in the store has increased by 1,000 to take it to 8,000, while 1,000 slow-running lines have been replaced.

Marketing manager Vaishakhi Doshi said that since opening, KQF had introduced female staff on the meat counter - a move female customers had said made it more approachable and customer friendly. “This has manifested itself in improving customer satisfaction ratings and more sales.”

The company is now planning to expand the meat counter. “We have introduced make-your-own marinade where customers can choose the meat, type of sauce and heat level,” said Doshi.

“We have also introduced fresh sausages, which are available in chicken, lamb and beef, and are planning to introduce a mini meat processing unit on-site for fresh burgers and sausages.”

The company has also expanded its range of ready-cooked tandoori kebabs with a charcoal-cooked version, and is launching a KQF Exotic range - “extra-large, premium quality” burgers. Made with 90% lean beef and special blends of herbs, spices and other ingredients, they are inspired by traditional dishes from countries such as Thailand, South Africa, Mexico and the Middle East.

Alongside the launch, KQF will also introduce the first Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) halal Bacon alternative in the UK market with HMC certification.