Julie Sanderson has seen a great many changes to the community store she manages in Freuchie, Scotland, over the past 18 months.
The latest was the electronic point-of-sale system that was installed earlier this month, to which staff are still adjusting.
Only six months before that the shop signed up to Key Lekkerland’s Key Store symbol group package.
“We had a new sign put up outside and Key Lekkerland staff come in every so often to help re-merchandise the internal layout,” says Sanderson.
“We went through a massive refit 18 months ago,” she adds. “The shop next door closed and we knocked the wall through and shifted our post office counter there.” The expansion freed up more sales space in the store.
The continually evolving role of the shop reflects its busy nature.
As a community store, it has traditionally been the main port of call for customers
from surrounding villages, says Sanderson. “We have a full grocery offering and no supermarket for at least 10-15 minutes’ drive in any direction.” It’s an enviable position to be in, but it hasn’t made Sanderson complacent. The store has worked hard to maintain traditional services such as its delicatessen counter, as well as introducing new offerings, such as a coffee machine and a Délice de France bakery unit.
Other services provided by the Freuchie store include free deliveries to the elderly and infirm and a prescription service, since the village does not have a doctor or a chemist.
Sanderson has even considered introducing a dry cleaning service.
With all the add-on services, she makes full use of the 12 staff she employs from when the shop opens on weekdays at 6am to when it closes at 10pm. Fortunately, she has no problems finding employees. “Being in a village, we have a stable staff of working mums,” she says.