Source: Booker

Premier Talbot Village is the first store to trial a number of new features that focus on sustainability and technology 

Premier is kicking off a sustainability and technology drive as the symbol group celebrates reaching 4,000 stores.

The Booker-owned fascia has begun trialling a number of features at a newly refurbished store in Bournemouth, which has seen sales increase by 71% to £30,000 a week since its reopening earlier this month.

Visited by The Grocer this week, the 1,900 sq ft Premier Talbot Village store showcased, for the first time, electronic shelf labels, a self-scan checkout, a refill station, paper bags as a replacement for single-use plastic ones, and a QR code that allows shoppers to access promotional deals rather than through printed leaflets.

There was also a bigger push on local suppliers. The retailer said it was looking to get another 15 local suppliers in store over the next six weeks, across meat, eggs and bakery, as opposed to using nine pre-refit.

Booker sales director Martyn Parkinson said store owners Arun Ehamparam and Tharsini Karunanithy had so far installed 500 ESLs across the store, which was saving 14 hours of labour a week. They intend to install them across all 3,600 SKUs eventually.

The new self-checkout was also proving an efficient element of the business, with 20% of transactions going through it last week, he added. It acts as a hybrid till, meaning it can be reversed to an ordinary till to “get the most efficient use out of the space”.

The refill station, which has a selection of pastas, oats and nuts, earned the retailer £200 last week, on a 45% margin. The goods can either be dispensed into paper bags, or into shoppers’ own containers.

In-store promotions can now also be accessed via an in-store QR code, meaning the retailer no longer needs to receive promotional leaflets as part of its monthly PoS kit, which equates to saving one tree per store.

Booker said all these elements were available to Premier retailers. 

As part of the 4,000th store milestone, Premier retailers are aiming to donate 4,000 meals to families this month through FareShare.