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Award-winning retailer launches latest store

An award-winning Nisa retailer has successfully launched his latest store despite the development taking place in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic.

Siva Thievanayagan’s store in St Neot’s, Cambridgeshire, officially opened to shoppers at the end of May after being extended and refurbished to create a fantastic new offer to the local community.

And in just the first week, sales were 100% up – increasing from an average £9k per week under the previous ownership to £20k - with plans for further growth.

The premises, which is in a residential area, boasts direct access to a car park as well as being sited close to a local school and a busy train station.

Siva bought the store last year along with an unused unit next door and has completely transformed the business from a small corner shop to a destination offering a full convenience offer.

The original store was less than 1,500 sq. ft with structural columns in the middle and varying floor levels leading to restricted space for chilled, frozen and ambient and a layout that made it difficult to offer an adequate range.

Now, all the additional space from the neighbouring unit has been used to extend the shop floor to more than 2,500 sq. ft.

Key improvements include the installation of two self-service checkouts, a dedicated bakery including a small deli counter allowing hot food to be served, an extensive food to go offer including freshly made sandwiches, Costa Coffee and Tango Ice-blast and F’real milkshakes.

The off licence has been significantly improved in size, increasing from three to seven bays and given a modern, fresh look within a dedicated area.

In total the space for chilled produce has tripled in size from six to 18 bays and frozen has doubled by replacing two chest freezers with five upright ones.

Siva said: “It took longer than I hoped it would to complete the project with some problems early on and then the coronavirus, but I am really pleased with the result.

“I wanted to use the space to create a really welcoming store for our customers so that when they come in, they think how amazing it is and that’s what they now get when they walk through the doors.

“We also stock local products and our staff are from the local community which has helped create a really local feel that makes our shoppers comfortable and want to come back.”

Vicky Lockie, head of key accounts said: “We are so pleased to have been able to support Siva with his latest venture, particularly so considering the challenges faced due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a really great team effort.”

Darren May, head of format and development, added: “I am absolutely delighted to see Siva’s latest store open and trading. The development was an ambitious one from the start with a lot of work required to fully realise the potential of the store and I am really proud of what the Nisa team, working alongside The Jordon Group have achieved.”

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