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Family forecourt flourishing

Shopper numbers are on the up at a quaint independent forecourt store Surrey just months after the retailer moved to Nisa in a bid to introduce a greater range.

Arnold’s Garage, a Nisa partner for almost four months, is enjoying increased footfall and sales with shoppers making a beeline for the village store and its new and improved products.

Compared to the same period last year, since joining Nisa sales have gone up every month increasing 12.6% in August, 14.7% in September and in October by 17.2%.

The convenience store is just one of the services operating out of the garage alongside used car sales, car mechanics, fuel and the Post Office.

Carolyn Tilson, who operates the store in Haslemere with daughter Chantelle, while her husband and son manage the car and mechanical side of the business, said: “When we took on the garage 13 years ago we had to decide whether or not to continue the fuel and if we were going to do fuel we knew we needed to have the shop as well.

“We had no retail experience and so we have been learning as we go along and continue to learn all the time.”

The retailers decided to move to Nisa from their original supplier after being impressed by the range they saw in the Stoneleigh store at Nisa’s annual trade show in April of this year.

With the increasing demand for good quality fresh and chilled products, Carolyn saw the need to improve the offer at Arnold’s Garage and felt the Co-op own label range, available through Nisa would serve the purpose and meet the expectations of local shoppers.

Carolyn said: “We have a lot to do to get the store to the standard we want it to be but in the few months we have been working with Nisa we have already made a lot of progress. Sales are certainly going up and now we want to take it up another level.”

Working closely with their retail development manager, new food to go opportunities have been identified and many new Co-op lines, chilled as well as ambient, are being introduced to the store.

Carolyn explained: “We are only small and so we have limited space, but we are working on getting our range right so that we can offer the best choice to our customers.”