Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Top 50 Indie relaunches Tonbridge site after KDRB

John Wood ·
George Hammond Southern Co-op Tonbridge

Top 50 Indie George Hammond plc has relaunched its Three Elm site at Tonbridge, in Kent, following a full demolition and rebuild, which has included moving the shop from Spar to Southern Co-op’s Welcome franchise.

The former site, which closed in August last year, was a four-square forecourt with one HGV lane, a 120sq m shop and a rollover car wash.

The new development features a four-square forecourt providing all grades and AdBlue with two HGV lanes and a new four-bay Aquatec car wash centre.

There is also a two-storey shop providing about 300sq m of sales space on the ground floor, with administration, welfare and training upstairs framing a feature atrium and visibility of the shop floor. The company is also installing an in-store bakery and its own food to go brand “Cafe Gusto” focusing on serve over, hand-crafted Italian street food and coffee under the Lavazza brand.

As with the group’s other five sites, a 30kW solar array on top of the forecourt canopy generates some of its energy requirements.

The group is moving all of its six BP sites from Spar to the Welcome fascia over the next six months, and Three Elm is the second to make the transition following Dover South which launched in mid January.

George Hammond director John Ryeland said: “Over the last decade, we have seen many changes in the petrol retailing business with most of our sites being redeveloped into larger convenience store formats.

“Transferring to the Welcome franchise gives us support from the Southern Co-op team and access to all products and promotions available in mainstream Co-op stores.

“The shift in UK consumer habits from the weekly big shop to more regular small top-up convenience store visits has been recognised by all the major hypermarkets. This move will allow us to sit more comfortably in this sector with focus on range, ethical values and all at a reasonable price.”

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