An independent family-owned SPAR store in Dersingham, near Kings Lynn, has undergone a significant store refurbishment and rebranded as a SPAR Market store.
Owned by James Thaxter and family, the store has been trading as a SPAR store for 50 years. Situated in the village of Dersingham in Norfolk, the family also own Thaxters Garden Centre & Coffee Shop next door.
In 2017 SPAR launched the SPAR Market store format in the UK. The format is ideal for stores with shop floor space of more than 2,000sqft and targets shoppers with higher basket spends. SPAR Market stores offer more fresh foods, a greater range of products including premium BWS and frozen ranges and focus on supporting local ranges. Stores can also offer cafés, butchers, delicatessens, and premium food-to-go counters.
In addition to rebranding SPAR Dersingham as SPAR Market, the store’s foodservice offer has been upgraded and today it hosts an extensive SPAR dailyDeli food-to-go offer. The counter area has a fresh look and feel with a new menu board, an all-new preparation area and front of house display including a new self-serve area. The store has introduced Tango Ice Blast and there is also a café area linking the SPAR store and the garden centre next door.
“Our store was due a refresh and changing the store to the SPAR Market format came at the perfect time for us. It has given us the opportunity to future-proof our business and provide a competitive edge against other stores in the area. We have been in business for over fifty years and believe it’s important to keep our offer fresh and relevant to the times. Adopting SPAR’s dailyDeli brand at the same time gave our food-to-go offer a brand-new look which has been very well received by our customers,” said Liam Cross, Store Manager.
“We knew there was a fantastic opportunity for us to increase our food to go sales, which now appeals to all our customers. The response from shoppers to the new format has so far been positive. Sales are up by 23% since the rebranding and margin has grown by 2.9%,” added Cross.
Other changes made within the store include new shelving bays to highlight the store’s exceptional fresh food offer, especially produce. This has allowed the store to drastically increase its range of fruit and veg as well as providing a comprehensive tonight’s tea solution.
The SPAR Market format is a great solution for fresh led stores that have the space and customer base to grow their fresh food and food-to-go sales and margin.
“We have had incredible support from Blakemore Trade Partners, who have co-invested in the store development. They were involved in the design of the store and their shop fitters completed the works. They saw the potential and have been fantastic throughout the entire process,” said Cross.
Stuart Ware, New Business Manager at Blakemore Trade Partners, said: “James, Liam, and the team at SPAR Dersingham have a strong community store which has been vastly improved to bring out the best trading qualities the store has to offer. The store provides customers visiting with a huge range of quality products, a robust dailyDeli foodservice offer and excellent customer service. We have had a number of independent retailers already visit the store and for those with a larger store footprint looking to join SPAR, it’s a great store for them to visit. We are proud to continue to work with the team at Dersingham and see how it goes from strength to strength.”
SPAR Dersingham is very much at the heart of the community, doing a lot of work locally. It has been providing its own home delivery service for over five years. The store also supports many local suppliers.
The store has also been at the forefront of retail innovation and added ESELs (Electronic Shelf Edge Labels) in 2020 to drive operational efficiency in store, so providing accurate pricing and reducing time spent on tasks such as labelling, as well as giving shoppers easy access to prices and promotions.
Other services customers benefit from include PayPoint, a cash machine, and a full range of vaping products. There is parking available for thirty cars onsite.