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Triple takings triumph in Northampton

Whitehills Supermarket, a 2,500 sq. ft store in the heart of a busy community, opened its doors in September last year when Alex Kapadia bought the business with a plan to understand what would work in the local community and develop the store on that basis.

At the time of purchase, the store was taking up to £12,000 per week. By February that had more than doubled following the addition of food to go and a coffee machine. But by Easter weekend, following completion of the re-fit, the figure had grown to an impressive £40,000 and has remained consistent thereafter.

Alex, whose background is in off licence rather than grocery, said he knew the site was perfect for his move into convenience retail and he hasn’t looked back.

“When we took it on, the plan was to run it for a while and work out the business and learn everything we needed to know.

“We did everything we could initially to allow us to start trading – gave it a thorough clean and put in as much stock as we were able to with the limited shelving and only five metres of chillers that we had.”

At the end of February the store underwent its transformation and converted into Nisa’s latest Evolution format, which involved a full overhaul including moving the front door, re-locating the counter and the installation of 13 metres of chillers to allow the store to set its sights on providing a fantastic fresh offer to shoppers.

Alex admits to having been “nervous” about getting too much fresh produce and chilled goods with weekly sales prior to the re-fit around £2,500.

However chill sales are now averaging between £5,000 and £6,000 every week and with the success of the Co-op own label products, plans are underway to increase the chiller space further.

And shoppers are thrilled with their new and improved store - average customer numbers are up from just 2,000 every week back in September to 5,000 shoppers at the end of June.

Alex said: “We sell what our customers want to buy; not necessarily what suppliers want us to sell to them. Lots of customers come in and say they have chosen to come to us rather than Tesco which is great to hear.”