“We also serve hot crepes and waffles, but the most popular food-to-go item has been the milkshakes and hot cookies.
“The dessert bar has done extremely well overall – there is very little wastage and it’s paying for the rest of the deli counter.”
But the most successful addition, says Ferhan, has been Skwishee – a giant blue ice blast machine serving three flavours with edible straws and frozen raspberries.
In the first week, Ferhan says it made a profit of £890; the second week it made
£620; and by the third, it plateaued at £550.
“We really pushed the Skwishee machine on Facebook and, in my soft drinks category, it is now
my number-one and number-two bestseller.
“Although it had a negative effect on the rest of the soft drinks – for example, I was initially doing around £1,500 on soft drinks and now I’m doing £1,200 – overall profits have gone up,” he adds.
The refit also attracted new customers to the store, with existing shoppers who used to come in for one or two items now filling their baskets up.
“We were ruthless in terms of range – initially, what suffered was the categories that weren’t really supplied by wholesalers, such as hardware,” he explains.
“Despite having a reduced number of lines, the categories are pretty much the same, but instead of having one-metre shelves, we now have more compact shelving and only two aisles.”
In February 2018, the average basket spend was £4.88, with margins of 20%. A year on, average basket spend has shot up to £5.15, with margins now at 23.38%.
“If I had the space, I would have a bar area with seating, but this will require me to again go through my store to see which category is dead to then replace it,” he adds.
But for now, after such a big refit, Ferhan’s main goal is to keep things afloat and make sure everything is in working order.