Increased competition from multiple convenience retailers has driven more demand for food-to-go and vaping refits within independent retail. 

Paul Jordon, managing director of shop-fitting specialists the Jordon Group, told betterRetailing the expansion of the Sainsbury’s Local format alongside the merger of Co-op-Nisa has resulted in “no point of difference”.

He added: “A year ago, you had lots of choice, but major brands are taking over and the challenge in the sector is finding a brand that stands out. You can get Co-op products in Nisa. 

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“We do between five and 10 refits a week, and the majority of them are focused on either food to go or vaping to help stand out. However, we’re not just working with major symbol groups on this. Smaller unaffiliated retailers with stores averaging 600sq ft are also investing.”

When asked how retailers with smaller stores can stand out, Jordon said: “It’s about looking at your individual customers and not what retailers on major high streets are doing.

“Smaller operators can’t imitate them. For example, we helped one retailer refit their store to make space for a unit to hold products from a local bakery.

“It’s also about scale. Many retailers can reduce the number of lines they have in one product category. A retailer is wasting their range if they’re stocking four different lines of ketchup.”

Mo Razzaq’s 13-Part Shop Refit Series