Footfall and sales are growing at a West Yorkshire forecourt store thanks to the product range that it has become renowned for locally.

Long-time friends Ziheed Muhammed and Idris Patel, who run the multi-award-winning Woodman Service Station on Dewsbury Road in Leeds, aim to make the instore range their point of difference to ensure shoppers keep coming back.

The forecourt’s visitors range from commuters to busy parents to avid gym-goers, so the 2,000sq ft Nisa Local store stocks a varied range of products to cater to each of their needs – including locally-sourced sandwiches, a range of competitively priced protein products (including shakes, bars and powders) and a 20m of chillers housing soft drinks alone. The range includes everything from water and carbonates to more exotic flavours, American sodas and smoothies.

“We stock something for everyone and have become known for our soft drinks locally. The American drinks in particular fly off the shelves and create a unique point of difference for our store”, says Ziheed.

Understanding the constantly evolving needs of shoppers and providing exceptional customer service are also key to the success of the modern forecourt store, as well as building good relationships with these customers.

Ziheed said: “We know a lot of our customers by name and what they typically purchase, and we’ve (literally) been known to go the extra mile for them. On one occasion, a lady using the forecourt vacuum locked all her belongings, including her keys, in her car. She was quite distressed so I drove her to her son’s school to pick up his house key, then to her house to pick up her spare car key and finally back to her car. She had never visited our forecourt before but now we’ve gained a customer for life.”

In addition to soft drinks, top sellers include car care products, confectionery and protein powders, which the store sells for £20 less than the local gym.

Ziheed says it’s important to keep up with trends like this to succeed: “In retail you have to keep learning and improving to meet the constantly changing needs of customers and exceed their expectations, in order to compete effectively in this industry.

“We’re looking to install electric vehicle charging points in the near future and introduce more Co-op own label lines early next year, when the full range becomes available to us.”