Musgrave has opened the first of four new trial stores for its Budgens fascia after a wide-ranging review of its GB business.
The 6,215 sq ft company-owned ‘lab’ store in Broadstone, Dorset, re-opened earlier this month after a refurbishment.
Musgrave CEO Chris Martin said the development was a sign of the wholesaler’s commitment to the GB business and its retail partners. “We think there is a real opportunity if we can find the right brand position for the UK market.”
The review followed the appointment of Peter Ridler as GB managing director in May. Ridler said the store had taken 14 weeks from concept to opening and would focus on bringing “posh food to the masses”.
“Grocery shopping has become relatively formulaic and boring. We are looking to put some excitement back in.”
The new store will have a closer focus on local sourcing, with 400 local lines as well as a larger food-to-go area focusing on breakfast and lunchtime, including freshly prepared porridge and soups.
This ‘supermarket’ trial will be followed in the first half of next year by three other trial stores, another supermarket, a forecourt store and an urban high street store. The trials will be held at company-owned stores before being rolled out to independent Budgens retailers in the second half of the year.
Ridler added that the first 10 days of trading at the Broadstone store had been ahead of expectations. However, Musgrave declined to give any details of how much investment was going into the new format claiming it was too early.
As part of the wider review, Musgrave has also installed stricter disciplines for retailers trading under its Londis fascia. Martin said this week the number of Londis retailers had fallen by about 10% as a result of the review.