Booths store

Booths is trialling a range of ideas at its Knutsford store

Booths is trialling a raft of new ideas at its Knutsford store including vouchers for out-of-stock items, a wine-tasting machine and loose prepared vegetables.

Better customer service is a major part of the trial. When an item is out of stock, shoppers will be offered an alternative plus a voucher for the difference, or a voucher for the full value if there is no alternative. Staff will also offer to pack shoppers’ bags and carry them to their cars.

“We want to build on our already excellent reputation for customer service and create better shopping memories. It’s about putting the soul back into shopping,” said Booths trading director Paul Minett.

Booths has also installed a wine-tasting machine that offers shoppers the chance to taste 64 different wines. “We want to give customers confidence in what they are buying,” said Minett. “It’s a landmark move.”

Other new initiatives include a freezer for babyfood - stocking brands such as So Baby and Mini Scoff - located alongside ambient babyfood.

Booths has also put in a premium fish freezer next to chilled fish and extended the space given to premium ready-meal brand Cook’s frozen lines.

In the bakery area, it has introduced oak tables to show off cakes and bread baked in store. And in the fruit and veg aisle, it is selling loose prepared vegetables so customers can choose the quantity they want.

Last week, Booths acquired its fruit and veg supplier Sharrocks in a move it said would enable it to get even closer to farmers and build a more transparent supply chain. It is Booths’ first supplier acquisition and will take effect on 1 December.