Bonjour project manager Iain Cracknell said that after opening 10 stores in 2002 and reaching a total of 50 during 2003, Total had opened another 50 stores and would end the year with 110. Investment has been agreed for an additional 60 next year.
All but one of the stores has been a conversion of an existing Total site and Cracknell said average sales had gone up from £16 to £20 per sq ft with improved gross margins.
The format is designed to provide a convenience offer with a prominent range of chilled wine, beer and ready meals in addition to ambient
top-up products. “Chilled beer and wine has been the biggest success,” said Cracknell. “Customers did not expect alcohol or for it to be chilled, so we placed it in the centre of the store. Even in stores which had sold alcohol prior to conversion, we saw sales uplifts of up to 35%.”
The 60 conversions planned for next year will all be full-size Bonjour stores, but Total is also working on a conversion package for sites too small for the full conversion.