This is a smart 24-hour forecourt with Shell fuel and a Spar store. But, at the time of my visit, a couple of the pumps were out of us.
There is a free-to-use ATM, shopping trolleys, AdBlue as well as the usual screenwash and barbecue fuel outside the shop but there was also a little bit of litter.
Bollard covers outside the shop advertise Spar, Cheeky Coffee and Clayton Park bakery.
The site has been well designed to include lots of parking.
This is a good-looking Spar store with an angled roof and brickwork at either end.
Once inside you are met with an attractive display of fruit and veg, put out in wooden crates however one crate was completely empty. The fruit and veg chillers were well stocked but let down by garish big green price signs.
There is a small seating area with stools facing towards the window. The magazine display next to the seating could have done with a bit of a tidy up.
At the front of the shop there is also a trolley where customers can place items for the local Food Bank helpfully a list detailed the products they were after.
Spar loves its deals and there were loads of these scattered around the shop. There is also a rather gaudy Super Deals display where random items were priced at just £1 including air fresheners, plasters and a magnifying set.
Aisles were well signposted and given names such as Market Street and there were photos of local landmarks along the wall.
At the time of my visit, they were promoting the ’summer Sparbecue’, a ’time appropriate’ offer but I did question why they had stacks of Aunt Bessies and McDougalls pancake mixes too.
As I had seen lots of advertising outside for the Clayton Park bakery I was keen to given this a try. However I was sorely disappointed as the counter was closed.
The shop offers Cheeky Coffee and has a Coffee Club where you buy six hot drinks and then get your seventh free.
There were some gaps on the shelves specifically in bottled water, toilet rolls and cereals.
There is a good car care section fully stocked and neat and tidy.
There was a huge trolley full of crates blocking access to the wine section.
There was an excellent selection of camping gear.
The floor in the toilet could have done with a mopping. There was a ’public washroom daily details checklist’ with a section for hourly checking to ensure it was clean and tidy. Unfortunately the first checks of that day didn’t happen until 3pm however this had been noted circled and marked with a huge question mark so someone was going to be in trouble.
Signs around the shop said they were looking for staff.
G&E Murgatroyd Kirkby Stephen is a purpose-built site that opened in December 2018.
More and more forecourt stores are becoming community stores and G&E Murgatroyd Kirkby Stephen has done a good job involving the community from including photographs of local landmarks to supporting the local food bank and sponsoring local events.
There is no doubt that this is a great site. However, I was disappointed not to have seen the Clayton Bakery counter in action. My visit was in the evening, however it was the height of the summer with lots of people travelling about making the most of the lighter evenings.
I also feel the management needs to get on top of some of those niggles such as gaps in displays, the trolley blocking the wine display and the lack of toilet checks. However, I saw they were advertising for staff so perhaps when they are fully staffed they’ll be on top of their game?