A Shell/Nisa forecourt in Oldham has gone viral on TikTok with more than a million people viewing a video of its unique food-to-go and snacking range - particularly its smash burgers.
Monarch Service Station - just off Broadway in Royton - is the subject of several TikTok videos and has been viewed more than a million times and ’liked’ more than 80,000 times.
In the video, viewers are told ‘you need to visit this petrol station in Oldham’ before showcasing the wide range of food and snacks it has on sale. The station sells many American snacks and has a Smashville burger shop, which does popular smash burgers. Among the snacks on offer are American crisps, such as Takis, sweets, cereals, pickles, slushies and Reese’s hot chocolate.
More than 1,500 comments have been left on the post, with many new customers and food bloggers travelling from around the UK to experience the TikTok sensation for themselves. Mebs Patel, Monarch Service Station’s operations manager, says the whole concept of the station has exceeded his expectations.“We’ve even had some food bloggers from Sweden come to the store. The reach has been immense,” he said.
“We came across someone on TikTok who got on the train from Scotland. I’ve got regular customers from Hull and Peterborough. One chap came from Peterborough and came back three days later.
“We’ve got reach of the whole of the UK from a single site in Oldham. The TikTok videos have been going viral over the past six months but in the run up to that we’ve obviously developed a proposition that would be fitting with TikTok.
“We have worked very hard on the product. We’ve created a whole concept across the store that works in tandem with the smash burger. That’s the big key driver for us and what’s made the whole station viral.
“Yes, we sell grocery, confectionery. But our USP and our key brand proposition is Smashville, the Americans sweets, and the American candy confectionery.
“What we were creating was a big night in section and the American products sold themselves perfectly to that. We’ve got the American confectionery, crisps, snacks, nachos, American drinks and then the frozen slushies and American hot chocolate. We have a lot of unique products and that is what attracts customers to come back to the store.”
With an increased footfall to the store, Mebs confirms that sales have reached new heights over the past six months, with plans for future growth already on the cards.
“Growth in sales goes hand-in-hand with more customers and the key catalyst has always been Smashville. The exciting products that we have in store compliments Smashville and Smashville doing what it is doing compliments the other product lines. The whole concept really has uplifted our volume and customer footfall which we are delighted about.
“We are we are looking to take Smashville to more locations. We are looking at all the different formats available to us and hope to build on this success in the future. The station has put Oldham on the map again and now we must continue to develop our proposition to attract more customers to the area.”
Victoria Lockie, head of retail at Nisa, added: “The team at Monarch Service Station have done a brilliant job of creating a very unique proposition and that has encouraged shoppers from all over the country to travel to Oldham to experience the service station.
“Our teams at Nisa continue to work hard with Mebs and the team to review the proposition so it can continue to flourish in the future.”