Aileen and James Anderson own the store and work there part-time, while their daughter Lara is the manager. Together they decided on a major refit ­ everything is being ripped out and replaced ­ lighting, ceiling, air conditioning, and the floor which is being replaced by stone and by wood in the off licence section. There'll also be new shelving to replace fitments that are 30 years old, and a Nisa fascia. Neish's has never operated category management but this is something Nisa is helping to change. "You get soap powders and catfood when you walk in at the moment, but it will be fresh produce and chilled stuff after the refit ­ a more standard presentation," says Lara. They hope the refit, which should be finished by December 15, will attract more shoppers and increase the basket spend and turnover. Lara has an ambitious target of £60,000 a week. The aisles, which run horizontally across the shop as customers enter, will be turned 90 degrees to the more conventional store format, and the checkouts will move to the front of the store, combining with the current standalone drinks counter. Apart from ambient grocery, Neish's has a lottery terminal and a butcher's counter. "We've kept up to date with technology and have scanning as well as new chiller cabinets, but the shop's been left out," Lara admits. "It really needed a refit because it was looking very tired and in danger of putting off new customers." It's obvious that many of the regular customers ­ mainly young families or pensioners ­ would visit regardless because many shop there two or three times a day. The family also delivers free to about 20 elderly customers who can't always get to the shop. They're even loyal in spite of fairly stiff competition from Spar, Safeway, Lidl and the Co-op, all about a 10-minute walk away, and a Spar garage at the bottom of the road, with an Alldays two minutes walk away. And Neish's staff are just as faithful ­ two have worked there for 30 years, another couple have gold watches after 25 years, and many more have worked there for more than 10 years. As part of the modernisations they will all be sent on a hygiene training course so they will be able to work in every department in the store Lara hopes that more families and working people in the catchment area of 5,000 will use the store although she realises the 6pm closing time could curtail this. However, she adds: "We used to open late but there wasn't a demand so we dropped it. I would consider changing it again, though." The store is unusual in that it supplies up to 50 fishing boats in the local harbour with fortnightly supplies which generates up to 10% of the turnover. Another special feature is its 500-line wine department. James prides himself on having a few dozen that the supermarkets don't usually carry, and considers it one of the store's USPs. He also delivers wine to 180 members of the store's wine club. However, one characteristic which the Andersons are keen to get rid of is the problem of shoplifting. Crime has always been a problem because thieves are hidden by the old-fashioned higher shelving, in spite of 30 CCTV cameras around the store, and the family is looking forward to being much less generous to this particular group of locals. {{COVER FEATURE }}