Harvest Energy has become the latest forecourt operator to partner Morrisons with the opening of a Morrisons Daily store at one of its sites.

Rontec already has more than 50 sites with Morrisons stores while MPK has converted 18 of its sites to Morrisons Daily or Morrisons Select stores.

Harvest Energy has opened the Morrisons Daily store at Sandringham Service Station in Leicester, one of the 62 sites it bought from HKS just over a year over a year ago, and plans to convert a number of its other convenience stores to Morrisons Daily Stores in the coming months.

Initial signs from the conversion are encouraging, and customer reaction has been positive, said Ian Woodcock, retail director, Harvest Energy.

He explained: “We were keen to understand what was important to our customers at Sandringham. The feedback and results showed the top priorities for customers were services, food-to-go, and locally sourced products. It was also apparent that customers were looking for more sustainable and environmentally friendly options. This information helped shape the design and format of the store, which features low energy LED lighting throughout. The store also benefits from free water ‘top-ups’ and reusable hessian bags.”

Greggs and Subway concessions within the store have been retained and there has been investment in providing fast, fresh and healthy options, offering a £3.80 meal deal, a fruit and salad selection and food-for-later meal solutions. The store has also introduced a new free-from range, as well as vegan and vegetarian food offers.

Harvest Energy is a member of the Prax Group of companies, and Sanjeev Kumar, CEO of the Prax Group, said: “As a dynamic and forward-thinking organisation, we consistently look for ways to keep our business innovative to continue to meet the needs of our customers, whoever and wherever they may be. Consumer needs are changing and as a consequence, so too is the forecourt as it responds to their demands. Therefore, an efficient strategy and the right partner plays an extremely important role based on additional services as the ground for attracting customers.

“Harvest Energy is in an excellent position to continue to respond to the changing landscape and the needs of consumers across the board. Research seems to suggest that there is a growing trend for the forecourt to serve as more than just simply somewhere to get fuel. Time-poor customers are frequently also doing domestic ‘top-up’ shops or food-to-go or food-for-later missions that might otherwise have been purchased elsewhere.”