Top 50 Indie George Hammond plc has opened its fifth Spar forecourt store with Blakemore Trade Partners. Queenborough Service Station, previously operating as a 1,100 sqft forecourt underwent a 16-week knock down and rebuild programme which saw the store transform into a 2,600sq ft Spar complete with a Subway franchise, Costa Coffee Express and  Spar off licence. The forecourt was also revamped with new pumps, jet wash and vac facilities and cash machine.

The official opening featured a variety of activities promoting the site including local product tastings, tastings, free Spar brand sample packs, a face painter, fire engine, bird of prey exhibition and plenty of one-day special promotions.

First full weeks trading have showed extremely positive signs with non-tobacco sales up more than 50% year on year, according to managing director John Ryeland.

He said a major focus of the Queenborough development had been in the push towards chilled foods and the take-home market. Thirty six metres of chilled cabinets have been installed on site, all with energy-efficient doors; and the introduction of loose fruit and vegetables along with a substantial meat offer has been key to promoting the chilled offering.

“The quality and range from Blakemore Trade Partners has been a real eye opener and we are delighted to be pushing ahead positively in this challenging category,” said John.

Queenborough is also supporting local suppliers including ice cream, sausages, cold meats, cheeses, preserves, cider and beer, and among other things authentic curries.

John said Costa Express and Subway had delivered exceptional trading performance and had already far outstripped initial expectations.

The BP branded forecourt is VRII compliant and offers all main grades along with LPG. Two fully equipped HGV lanes provide BP diesel, Keyfuels, Red Diesel and bulk Adblue. Substantial parking facilities have been installed but early indications suggest more is needed.

The Aquatec Jetwash Centre is a first in UK with Croatian built Adriateh. This includes a four-bay Jetwash and Vac centre operated by coins or prepaid key fob.  The fully integrated plant room is fed by the site’s own 120m-deep borehole.

John Ryeland took advantage of the Blakemore Retail Partners programme and completely planogrammed the site, majoring on promotions, with 10 promotion bays throughout the store including two chilled, four off licence and a dedicated S Budget bay.

He also used the Guild Academy to train all the existing and new staff including licensing, health and safety and Sparkling Service.