A New Forest forecourt store has seen a 17% uplift in sales in the first few weeks of trading after transferring its business to Spar.

Sean Denman, who owns Hordle Garage near New Milton, chose Spar when he decided to modernise his forecourt store to create a better convenience offer for the local community.

In a co-investment project with Appleby Westward, Spar’s regional distribution company for the south and west, work got underway to increase the size of the 550sq ft store by nearly 60% – and the results have been instant.

“I am delighted we have shown a 17% increase in sales already, and as we develop our offer still further I am sure the store will take off even more,” said Sean, who has run the garage business for the past six years.

The store now offers an expanded chilled offer with fresh meats, a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, an extended grocery offer, food-to-go, bean-to-cup coffee, a full range of news, magazines and cards, and a variety of promotional offers.

Sean is now working with Appleby Westward to boost sales still further. He is awaiting the installation of a National Lottery terminal, and when the store receives its alcohol licence, he expects business to take off even more dramatically. “Having the Lottery and an off licence will definitely increase footfall and stimulate extra sales for us,” he said.

“I’m delighted we made the change and it was a natural progression to decide to brand the store under the Spar fascia,” added Sean. “Spar is a highly recognised brand worldwide, and in our part of the New Forest we attract lots of holidaymakers. As a result, customers trust the brand and know what they are getting. It seemed natural to go forward with them.”

Sean was full of praise for the support he received from the Appleby Westward team in bringing the new store to fruition. “The whole team have been superb and really supportive throughout the whole project and I couldn’t have asked for better,” he said. “I am extremely happy with the end result. Most importantly, our customers love what we have done too.”