SimplyFresh is aiming to modernise the ‘confection­ery, tobacco & news (CTN)’ format through renewed investment in its ‘Little Fresh’ fascia.

The symbol group’s creative director, Davinder Jheeta, told betterRetailing the com­pany would be focusing on three formats next year – SimplyFresh, Simply Local and Little Fresh. 

Relaunching this month, with three stores in central London, the Lit­tle Fresh brand combines food to go with traditional tobacco and newspaper products. 

The three stores in Moorgate, Buckingham Gate and Baker Street will be managed by Jasvinder Randhawa – the first time the format has been run by an independent retailer. 

Simply Fresh Market concept closes within three months of trading

Little Fresh was originally launched as a centrally-owned concept store in hospitals and educational establish­ments in partnership with catering groups Compass and Sodexo. 

Jheeta said: “The re­launch is nothing overly new, but we are refining the offer, and it’ll be based on the high street. The aim is to re-energise the CTN format. It’s a sub- 1,000sq ft-format aimed at cities with heavy levels of passing footfall. 

The first store is open on Moorgate, and there’s a refit for the Buckingham Gate site to open in Janu­ary. Baker Street will open shortly after that. 

“We’ve looked at a lot of the leading lines to intersperse them with products that are trendy in London,” said Jheeta. “There’s a lot of food to go, confectionery, tobacco and impulse snacks. “The Buckingham Gate store will also have a sou­venir concession.” 

Explaining further expansion, Jheeta said the company is targeting five additional openings of the Little Fresh brand in London next year. He also revealed the Simply Local brand would be “re-en­ergised” in the new year. Simply Local is targeted at retailers who are unable to stock a fresh offering as extensive as the larger SimplyFresh format. 

“We’ve got these three great brands and we just launched a second Simply Local site in Birmingham New Street station,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what size you are, or what mission you’re trying to achieve. There’s a format for all retailers.” 

The focus on the three formats come as Simply­Fresh postponed develop­ment of its Food Hall and Market concepts. 

Jheeta said the com­pany was waiting for the “market to settle” before further developing its Food Hall brand, while the first Market in Redditch closed in October after three months of trading. 

A supply deal between SimplyFresh and Sains­bury’s also collapsed in July, but Jheeta said there was no update on a poten­tial new supplier.

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