Mills Group aims to apply its blueprint store models to half its retail estate within a year, MD Nigel Mills said at the company’s annual conference in Oulton Hall, Leeds. The three models are represented by trial stores in Sunderland, a high street location; a village outlet in Brunswick; and another in Carlisle, on the main road out of the city.
However, Mills said the treatment could cost £300,000 per store and more research was needed to determine target outlets. Revamps could mean full refurbishment or a facelift.
Mills plans to invest £5m over five years, covering IT as it improves electronic communications, installing chip & PIN and updating its EPoS system. The budget includes £500,000 for marketing next year.
In addition, Mills said he wanted the company to climb from its 16th place in The Grocer’s Top 50 list of independent retailers to a top 10 position within three years. The chain said annual retail sales grew from £55.8m last year to £58m this year from 80 stores.