It as a great success and we had excellent customer feedback.

Our new store, Greens of Tillicoultry was opened on March 1, after several weeks of delays due to circumstances out of our control.

From completion of the shop fit, we should have had the store open within 72 hours, however, unfortunately sometimes local authorities do not understand this and can be less than helpful.

We decided to have a large launch event as close to the day of opening as possible to try to build momentum quickly after the prolonged opening.

Furthermore, our main competitor here is the Co-op – its store is on the main road in the village, while ours is on a side road – so marketing is crucial.

The event was a great success and had excellent customer feedback. We had the usual food and wine tasting, bouncy castle, face painting and Paw Patrol mascots for the kids, and a singer from a local band. Our in-store butcher partners also had an in-store barbecue – unfortunately, we were reminded on the day that we are in (not so) sunny Scotland, so we had to keep it inside.

The local MP cut the ribbon for us and we worked closely with suppliers to provide customers some extremely deep cut deals.

So far, figures are very strong, though while having cigarette sales of only 9% is usually a good thing, we feel that we need to do more to entice the early morning customers as newspaper and cigarette sales are lower than they can potentially be.

The in-store butcher and baker we partner with are working very well as they are enticing people into the store. Both partners are very proactive and keen to innovate with us to really try and boost sales.

In addition, there have been some very positive comments on social media and in-store regarding the aesthetics of the store and design.

Sometimes the simplest of things can make an area of the store stand out and can be very cost effective to do. A great example of this is the giant sweetie tubes – an idea we stole with pride.

Another is the giant landscape image of Tillicoultry and the Ochil Hills in-store, which again, draws everyone’s attention and highlights our commitment to the local area.

As always, it’ll be about constantly keeping an eye on data and feedback, to determine what’s working and what we can improve on.

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