A Cornish retailer has carried out a dramatic transformation of his convenience store to future-proof the business and wants to inspire other retailers to do the same.

Dan Cock’s Premier Whitstone Village Stores has undergone a complete refurbishment over the past six months and just three weeks after opening, has benefited from huge sales increases.

It now boasts its own café, bar and lounge, integrated with a strong convenience offer, which has been tailored to the local community.

Cock took over the cottage next door to increase the store by around 1,000sq ft, with the new café, bar and lounge taking up 600sq ft and the shop itself gaining 300sq ft.

The café area sells coffee, alcohol, food to go or eat in, and runs a carvery every Sunday, including a ‘bring your own plate’ for takeaway roast dinners.

The café is already bringing in £5,000 a week in additional sales, while sales on the retail side of the business have risen 20%. “By running the two businesses in parallel they support each other,” Cock told Retail Express.

“Our industry has changed astronomically and if you do nothing, you will decline naturally. You have to do something just to stand still and if you want to grow you’ve got to do even more.

“What I’ve done will make my business sustainable for the next 10 years.”

Changes to the convenience store include expanded fresh, chilled and alcohol sections, a bigger focus on local produce and growth areas such as free-from, and clearer shop layout.

“While not everyone can do what we’ve done I think any retailer can take one little part of what we’ve done that they can transfer it to their store,” he added.

Find out Dan Cock’s 12 top tips for future-proofing your store.