Applegreen hopes to introduce the Londis fascia at a “significant number” of its sites this year

Applegreen has this week unveiled a two week refurbishment of its Crawley site, which the business will use as a blueprint for improvements across its 98-strong UK network, giving greater emphasis to convenience.

This year alone, there will be 15 to 20 upgrades to forecourts across the Applegreen estate, said Martyn Brett-Lee, Applegreen’s managing director UK petrol filling stations, to tempt motorists to widen their shopping choices and make the stores less impulse-purchase-driven.

With the Crawley property becoming the ninth in the group to adopt the Londis fascia instead of the Applegreen signage, the forecourt has been renamed Londis Crawley Avenue. Brett-Lee said Londis branding will be introduced at other sites that are well placed to take on a stronger convenience proposition.

“We will work with [Londis owner] Booker to decide which sites will work with a greater convenience range from Londis, rather than the traditional filling station offer,” he said. “We have been averaging at one Londis site a year, but this year we intend to do a significant number more.”


The aisles have plenty space

As part of the renovation of the 24-hour Crawley site on the A23 near Gatwick Airport, which stayed open throughout the work, a three-door chilled deli and ready-meals range has been introduced, alongside a two-door freezer section, and a larger display of household, toiletries and ambient groceries.


A larger Greggs with hot food, and a seating area for 18 people has replaced the Subway at the Crawley forecourt

By removing the Subway and introducing a larger Greggs 600 sq ft area at the back of the store, it has freed up space in the 1,400 sq ft grocery area to diversify the range from being grab and go focussed, and there are now 51 shelved bays instead of 35 before.


The re-jig of  Applegreen’s Crawley site included trebling the space for chilled beers, wines and spirits

The Crawley site has also trebled the size of its chilled beers, wines and spirits section to 9.5m. And the larger Greggs now has seating for 18 and, for the first time, hot food, such as soups, goujons and potato wedges.  

Other changes include a Vapestore Express vaping unit at the entrance of the store, and a larger hanging sweet range in the run up to the checkout, together with Bonds of London Candy Cups, which are proving popular.

There is a Costa Express machine and a food to go section, with sandwiches and a large chilled soft drinks range, which comes into its own when the Greggs part of the business, at the back of the store, closes early evening.

The aesthetics of the store are modern with charcoal grey exposed ceilings and tiled floors, pendant lighting separating the grocery side of the store from the Greggs, wide aisles, and thoughtful touches including pork scratchings and wine bags on hooks in the unchilled alcohol section.


Applegreen’s retail operations director Lisa Brown and managing director UK petrol filling stations Martyn Brett-Lee at the Crawley site’s relaunch

Outside there are eight pumps selling Applegreen branded fuel, a new rollover car wash, a free to use cashpoint, and plenty of parking, as well as a defibrillator on the side of the store. And the site acts as an Evri parcel drop off and collection point.

The next Applegreen site to take the new format will be in Swansea in April, says Brett-Lee, as Applegreen strives to “upgrade the retail experience” across its forecourt estate. “What has become clear is that forecourt shoppers now want more food for tonight, tomorrow and the weekend,” said Brett-Lee. “It is not just grab and go, impulse lines that they want.”


Applegreen cut the ribbon this week for its Crawley site’s two week renovation