SPAR Bowness launch 2

Spar Bowness opened last week with a 3,000 sq ft store, and a Shell branded forecourt with 19 parking spaces, an EV chargepoint bay, and four fuel pumps

Offering loose fresh produce to paddle boards, redeveloped forecourt Spar Bowness opened last week boasting a range to tempt locals and tourists visiting neighbouring Lake Windermere.

The former car showroom, now owned by Spar wholesaler James Hall & Co, has a 3,000 sq ft store incorporating Lake District slate in keeping with the area, and a Shell branded forecourt with 19 parking spaces, an EV chargepoint bay, and an air and water machine.

It includes the James Hall & Co brands Graham Eyes butcher’s, Clayton Park deli, and a Cheeky Coffee machine. There is also an area dedicated to slush and ice cream products. And taking advantage of tourist trade, there is a range of kayaks and paddle boards. 

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The inhouse Graham Eyes butcher’s counter is popular with locals

Fresh fruit and vegetables are available loose to allow customers to purchase precise quantities, and there is a wide range of local Cumbrian and Lakeland products. Next to the Shell pumps selling standard and Shell V-Power fuel, is an English Lakes branded ice cream van.

James Hall & Co says that the Rayrigg Road business prides itself on offering a “strong range” of big-name brands at low prices, and a well-stocked beer, wines and spirts section.

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A large chilled wine and beer section, accompanied by ice cubes

The store is open from 6am to midnight seven days a week. The business is supporting a range of local charities, including Windermere Rugby Club, Blackwell Sailing, which works with people with disabilities, and also environmental campaigning group Save Windermere. Windermere Food Bank will also have a collection point in the store. Representatives from two of these groups were invited to cut the ribbon on the day.

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The Shell branded forecourt opened on July 4

Karen Brayfield, one of the first customers through the doors, said: “My husband and I have lived in Bowness for 24 years and I really think this is what the village needed. The parking is a massive plus and the fuel at the price is a winner.

“The variety of local products is fantastic, and it will be really useful for our bed and breakfast business. I also help a lady do her shopping every week. There is a great range in the store to do this and it is also accessible with trolleys.”

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Spar Bowness has a range curated for locals and tourists

Kathryn Street, another of the first store customers, said: “I spend about a third of the year in Bowness and there is nothing like this in the village. I’m so impressed with the store. I am familiar with Spar stores where I am from, but this is unlike anything I have been in before and it is so much bigger.

“The butcher’s counter is brilliant, and I also really like the deli and what it offers. There is also a good range of fresh food, and it is a great addition to Bowness.”

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Loose fresh produce gives customers flexibility

Niels Dekkers, retail development director at James Hall & Co, said the business had developed a range to cater for visitors and the community of Bowness: “We have worked with the Spar UK team in Harrow to make a few tweaks to our normal format, and we are thrilled with the results of those efforts,” he said.

“Digital screens in-store and electronic shelf edge labels create a clean and visually impressive display of our offer, and the store has a spacious feel due to great planning which has maximised the space available.”


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A neat display for slush and local ice cream

Ian Taylor, retail and brand development director at Spar UK, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the team at James Hall & Co on this new format.

“We have looked to evolve the model and improved the flow and visual impact of the store. Bowness is a fantastic location for a flagship store and we are confident local shoppers will find all they need at Spar Bowness.”

James Hall & Co is a fifth-generation family business that serves a network of independent Spar retailers and company-owned Spar stores across Northern England from its base at Bowland View in Preston.

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Cutting the ribbon: Matt Staniek from the Save Windermere campaign (centre left) and Jonny Cormack from Blackwell Sailing (centre right), alongside Dominic Hall, joint managing director of James Hall & Co (left), Spar Bowness store manager Chris Warriner (right), and area manager for James Hall & Co, James Watt (far right)