Londis retailer Brian Charlton has responded to customer demand by using extra space in his forecourt store for more local lines. His shop, in Middleton, North Yorkshire, burned down in November 2005 but was rebuilt then re-opened at Easter this year. The new store was given the Londis treatment - taking it to Genesis standard - and includes 400sq ft of extra selling space.
Brian has used some of this space to create a ’Yorkshire Corner’ to display locally-supplied goods and specialities. These include jams, preserves, chutneys, baked goods, Yorkshire crisps and bottled beers from the Copton Brewery, which is just two miles up the road.
Brian’s site is on the A170 en route to Whitby and the Moors, indeed it is just 50 yards from the National Park boundary so gets lots of passing tourist trade.
Brian had the support of the Londis team throughout the rebuilding process. Despite the original store being burned down, he was up and trading from a Portakabin within 10 days.
He held a pre-opening event in his village hall and invited local people along. One of the questions they raised was about availability of fresh produce and Brian has now addressed this need by taking on the Londis fruit and veg range.
The refit also included a £40,000 investment in refrigeration which gives it a 20m run of chillers.
Andy Tillison, retail sales manager at Londis, said: "I know that when Londis was merging into Musgrave, a lot of companies tried to poach Brian but he resisted. I think he values the support we have given him since the fire."