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Upgrading by downsizing in Leeds

A Leeds shopkeeper has taken the unusual step of downsizing his store to help improve his store for customers.

Tony Rhoda, who has run the Hall Lane store for almost 20 years, with brother Simon, said there was a lot of wasted space in the shop, too many slow selling lines and the time was right for a refresh.

The store, which is situated in a largely residential area on the edge of the city centre, has been reduced in size by around 500 sq. ft as well as being refurbished to bring it up to date for the modern shopper.

The latest Nisa Evolution fascia has been erected on the exterior of the store whilst internally, new panelling has been fitted to the upper walls with graphics and vinyl signage added to create a more contemporary finish and LED lighting installed.

Six chest freezers which were taking up a lot of space have been replaced with three upright ones, a new chiller has replaced an aging one and more than 200 SKUs have been removed from the range.

Tony said: “We have done a full range review and removed 200 plus lines, all of which were very slow selling. We’ve also reduced some categories and moved others round to make better use of our space.”

Previously, all 2l bottles of carbonated drinks were kept in chillers but the review has seen these moved to shelving and only small, single serve drinks can now be found refrigerated.
“We have been here for 19 years and this is the first time we have done a full range review and really given thought to where we should put products. It all makes sense and just by moving the large bottles of soft drinks we’ve created much more room for sandwiches which is an area that is expanding,” said Tony.

The smaller range and reduced selling space haven’t had an adverse effect on sales with an average £31,000 to £33,000 being hit on a weekly basis before, during and after the work.

And despite the reduction in floor space and the removal of products, shoppers who use the store daily have not even noticed the change.

“The regulars have all spotted the new signage and the freezers and commented on how smart it looks, but most haven’t realised the store has shrunk and two months on, nobody has asked for any of the products that we have taken out of the shop!”