Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Brian Llewelyn, a'i Ferched, Penfro, Eglwyswrw, Crymych, Pembrokeshire

09 June, 2014
Page 13 

LOCATION:

My target is in the beautiful holiday area of North Pembrokeshire. It's located on the B4329, just outside the small village of Eglwyswrw.

Part of the Brian Llewelyn enterprise, last year it won the award as Forecourt Trader's Best Forecourt Retailer in the West Country and Wales, in the up to 2.5mlpa category.

FORECOURT:

Illuminated fuel price poles highlight the forecourt and shop, but making it really noticeable is a flag pole as well as the distinctive Murco canopy.

There are two pump islands and a separate diesel pump. All pumps and nozzles were clean and working. Fuel prices were competitive. The forecourt has limited space so there are only a few designated parking spaces, but there is plenty of room at the rear of the shop, which is where the jet wash is situated. Other services include an air line and water. Calor Gas is available, and to the shop front there's a good display of winter and barbecue fuels as well as offers on garden compost.

Separate and to the left of the shop is a small bungalow. The shop front is quite modern but does not have a fascia and to the right it is attached to a second bungalow.

SHOP:

The door leading into the shop had grubby paintwork and was in need of a very good clean.

Right at the entrance there is a short run of excellent looking produce. Some are clearly supplied by local growers, but none are labelled with their details.

The shop is quite large and it extends into a number of rooms focused on the Country Store range.All ranges grocery, wines, local beers, dairy, bakery, food-to-go are limited but include the essentials. Easy to do a top-up shop and to buy eat now/eat later fresh food.

A microwave is available and a Nescafé & Go hot drinks machine. I did not find many local products but did purchase a locally made pasty, which was excellent.

What I found disappointing was the lack of shelf-edge pricing and promotions.

But, what is amazing about the shop is its extensive and varied range of gift and craft items.

The customer toilet is situated in the yard area. The staff were friendly and efficient, and obviously had a good rapport with their local customers.

PROGNOSIS:

Deep in the Pembroke countryside, the family-owned and run Brian Llewelyn a'i Ferched enterprise is a multi-faceted traditional country store with a large yard. It also includes a prize-winning petrol station and c-store.

There must be some concern about the future of the fuel supply from Murco. They report that they have stopped buying crude oil to be processed at Milford Haven, but have reassured retailers that the situation with their retail network is very much 'business as usual'.

DIAGNOSIS:

My focus is on how the filling station and c-store part of the business can maintain current customers and attract new ones.

PRESCRIPTION:

To attract more passing motorists, including holiday traffic, the filling station needs to continue its competitive pricing and promote its services more. Meal deals and coffee offers are proven winners and may attract more customers.

First, attend to the door to the shop and consider the addition of an ATM and Click-and-Collect service

Although I often recommend that independent retailers consider partnerships with symbol groups, I don't think it would be appropriate in this case. They are clearly striving not to be a standard c-store and they have certainly created a shop of character.

They need to know their customers so could provide a tick box questionnaire to find out what customers want from the Brian Llewelyn forecourt and shop.

Introduce shelf-edge pricing. A limited range of promotions special offers would add interest and stimulate sales.

Localism is very important and the current range stocked can be extended and sales improved with ticketing that gives some of the details of the producers. Recipe cards are always popular.

Keep the Brian Llewelyn website and Facebook page up to date with news and offers

This is a prize-winning business and has the potential for more.





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