Veer Patel 7

The Patel family have switched their Clacton-on-Sea forecourt in Essex back to a Spar, after a break of 15 years.

Previously, the business which has been owned by the Patels for 25 years, was a Premier outlet since 2017. But Veer Patel, who runs the two pump Murco site for his parents Nash and Sharlie, said that he wanted to take the store “to the next level” with the new  arrangement.

Served by Spar’s regional wholesaler Blakemore Trade Partners, Veer said he hoped to benefit from improved availability, ranging advice and an overall better symbol group business partnership.

Since taking the Spar fascia, the store has been given a minor refurb, says Veer, as it had a major refit three years ago. There is a new food-to-go section, and other areas of the shop, he says, have been improved for a better shopping experience. Also, a large range of Spar own-label products, mixed with a more branded impulse and grocery range have been added.

The chilled section has been re-ranged to help customers find items for all meal occasions, while the wine range has tripled in size and the beer cave layout has been changed to allow for more variety.

Veer Patel, who is aged 24 and took over the day-to-day running of the site from his parents in 2018, said: “We were looking for a partner to take our business to the next level and we’ve seen how Spar and Blakemore Trade Partners operate thriving wholesaler-retailer partnerships in which both parties succeed.

“The Spar own brand, County Bridge meat and the large wine ranges will help us to capture all the areas of the market we were not able to tap into in the past. We have a wide customer base – from holiday makers to local people living in the community to transient drivers using the forecourt – and as the only Spar store in the area, we have a great opportunity to catch a growing number of shoppers who will come in to do a top-up shop or a full shop,” he added.

Stuart Ware, head of new business at Blakemore Trade Partners, said: “Our detailed understanding of customers and missions and the translation into macro and micro space has informed the store plan as we look to drive basket spend and footfall. This is driven by detailed data analytics, plus a knowledge of our company owned store estate performance.

“The Patel family have exciting plans over the next three years including the introduction of a new EPOS system and ESELs in the next 18 months. By working in partnership, we look forward to supporting the team as they grow their business over the coming years.”