My target is the prize-winning Fraser Budgens site at Marlborough. It’s located on the Marlborough Business Park, just a mile from the town centre, opposite a large Tesco (no fuel).
The site is large and clearly visible from the main road thanks to the BP-branded pole and vast canopy.
Last year this site won the Forecourt Trader award for the best forecourt facilities and certainly space allows easy access to the starter gate line of four islands of pumps. All the pumps were in good working order and displayed details of non-food promotions. Prices were competitive and in line with other forecourts I passed. A very steady stream of drivers was refuelling.
To the right hand side of the shop are a rollover car wash (undergoing maintenance) and two jet wash bays (all branded Karcher). Airline, water, vacuum and Calor gas services are also available.
There are plenty of designated parking bays. Around the perimeter of the site there are large banners promoting offers. At each pump, a poster advertises ’Save 3ppl when you spend £10 in store’.
SHOP: The impressive store fascia states ’Fraser’s Budgens of Marlborough’ and at each end of the store there’s a Subway sign.
At the entrance is a Fraser family picture what a great way to demonstrate the group’s history.
The shop is 200sq m and immediately strikes you as a bright and vibrant enterprise.
The Subway was busy, although some customers using the tables and chairs had purchased their refreshments from the Costa Express and bake-off pastries units. The Costa bar and floor needed a clean, and the pastries a refill.
Near the Subway and seating area there was a customer notice board and toilet. Sadly the toilet/wash basin area looked as if it had not been cleaned for some time.
A full c-store range was available and the number of lines on promotion was extensive. A leaflet promotes a Dinner for Two offer at £8 this featured a new Budgens ’Discover the Taste’ range.
A wide variety of products at several price points is stocked, including a separate freezer for the Cook range, but I could find very few local products. A range of beers from the Box Steam Brewery, Wiltshire, was well displayed I just had to buy some.
Two members of staff were busy at the till. The one who dealt with my transaction was friendly and efficient. Full marks.
: The Fraser Group has a proud heritage it is a third-generation family business with six many prize-winning sites. They invest heavily and are at the cutting edge of retail development.
The site won the 2013 Forecourt Trader award for the Best Design, so it’s a well-designed store with many energy-saving features and has its own borehole to help make it self-sufficient in water.
The Fraser Budgens developments they have a second Budgens store at Yarnton, Oxfordshire have brought together powerful and attractive brands that are essential in the current evolution of the c-store market.
Budgens of Marlborough competes directly with the Tesco opposite, so what can they do to create a point of difference and to make the forecourt/shop a destination site?
One major benefit is the forecourt the Tesco does not sell fuel so it’s essential to keep all services in top-class working order and fuel prices competitive.
Promote further if possible to all those Tesco customers who drive to the store the 3ppl off fuel when £10 is spent in-store. Surely this offer deserves a large banner?
Good to promote that Budgens matches 100s of products against Tesco but this does not develop a point of difference. More local products may help.
Introduce, display and properly execute a cleaning rota for the customer toilets. Keep the Costa Express unit clean and tidy.
Continue to develop the Fraser Budgens website, the Platinum Club and Facebook. Make full use of the short-term marketing opportunities these provide.
Continue to build links with the community and the ’Charity Giveaway’ initiative.
Fraser’s Budgens of Marlborough is a good operation and, as ever, constant attention to retail detail will keep it that way. It is sure to win further awards in the future.