All independent retailers need to understand the importance of having fresh food in their stores if they want to survive.

That was the message from My Local founder Mike Greene as he switched 140 Morrisons-owned M Local shops to his new fascia after buying them from the supermarket giant in September.

He said fresh food will be the foundation of the new My Local group of convenience stores. “The survival of good independents is around fresh,” he told Retail Express.

“Fresh isn’t just about dairy, deli, bakery, fruit & veg, like it used to be. It’s now around food to go as well, which you must keep baking little and often, to keep smells in store and keep it full.”

Greene plans to better use space for fresh, reducing it where necessary to ensure displays are kept full and tempting to shoppers – eliminating the issue the previous M Local stores had with sparse shelves.

“Whenever we asked people what the best example of fruit and veg was people would always say market stalls because they’re abundant,” he added. “If you’ve got two pastries and a sausage roll in your food to go no one’s got confidence in it.”

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