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Final piece of the jigsaw in Leeds

The installation of Nisa’s Evolution store format and fascia has completed a project at a busy city store that first began 18 months ago.

The Gateway Express convenience store in central Leeds was taken over in October 2018 by Nikul Patel and since that time a raft of changes have been made to bring the store up to the desired standard the experienced retailer was aiming for.

Situated in the middle of a city centre apartment complex, surrounded by office space and close to student accommodation, footfall at the store was good but the potential was fantastic and Nikul spent more than a year working on the store to get it right.

The introduction of a much improved fresh and chilled range has been the biggest change, with the offer in these categories amounting to just a few bays of milks, cheese and yoghurts when first taken on by Nikul.


Apart from the flooring, the entire shop has now been ripped out and replaced, with 30 metres of chillers installed to accommodate the expanded range which includes a broad choice of organic, dairy alternative and other free from products.

Nikul said: “We have a full bay of organic and alternative products as well as a full freezer for vegan and vegetarian and a whole bay as well. There is a lot of demand for it and it’s great to be able to stock such a choice now that we have the space.”

The flow of the store has been changed with the counter relocated from one side of the store to the other and the orientation of the gondolas also changing as well as increasing in height to make better use of the space.

With a 25 per cent sales increase recorded between January and March – prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus - the new look store and improved range has been well received by shoppers and in the second week of opening post re-fit sales broke all previous records.

Nikul said: “Because of where we are, we have a captive audience and so wanted to make sure local people didn’t have to go any further for their shopping.

“The expanded range allows customers to do more than just a top-up shop and we want it to be the go-to destination, especially when it comes to fresh produce and meal solutions.

“Basket spend is up for all categories and I think 90% of our customers are now spending more with us.”