Top 50 Indie the Simon Smith Group has teamed up with Spar supplier Blakemore Trade Partners to launch a forecourt and speciality food convenience store at Highworth Service Station in Swindon.
Working in partnership, the two family-run businesses have redeveloped the site to create a convenience store dedicated to high-quality, locally sourced products.
Highworth Service Station reopened for business on February 14th after a major redevelopment which involved knocking down the existing 700sq ft store and replacing it with a 2,800sq ft one, re-launched under the Spar fascia. All forecourt facilities are also new.
Following the opening, the store enjoyed a record-breaking opening weekend, with sales over the two days up 176% on previous weekends and fuel volumes up 11%.
Susie Hawkins, director of the Simon Smith Group, commented: “Our aim was to establish Highworth Service Station as a convenience store with a real community focus. As a family business we are very keen to support other family businesses in the area and small, regional producers.
“By working with Blakemore Trade Partners we have been able to implement the unique feel that we set out to achieve at the same time as benefiting from the internationally recognised Spar brand. Blakemore Trade Partners provided us with co-investment to redevelop our site as well as great product ranges and distribution and support services. Blakemore Design & Shopfitting also did a fantastic job of developing our new store and Blakemore Fine Foods provided us with invaluable support with sourcing local, quality produce.”
In addition to nearly 200 speciality lines from Blakemore Fine Foods, Highworth Service Station stocks locally sourced meat from Andrews Quality Meats and The Cotswold Farmer, and fresh bread and pastries from family-run bakery La Parisienne Bakery & Patisserie. On entering the store, customers are greeted with a display of fresh flowers from the Cotswold Flower Barn.
The store also uniquely offers vinegars and oils on tap, high-end ready meals and a sports nutrition range. A food-to-go range includes freshly made sandwiches, baguettes, milkshakes and more.
The Simon Smith Group is a Gloucestershire-based family business, established in 1975, that currently operates seven forecourt and convenience stores in Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties. Highworth Service Station was initially acquired by the retail group in January 2014 and is the first of the chain to trade under the Spar name.
Blakemore Trade Partners managing director Jerry Marwood commented: “Highworth Service Station is another example of how we work with independent retailers to create unique stand-out stores with the flexibility to meet the specific needs of the local community.
“Blakemore Trade Partners has recently enjoyed a string of industry award success with its forecourt retailers and new-concept stores, and we are confident that, with the expertise of the Blakemore group behind it, Highworth Service Station has a very strong future.”