Bay Bashir, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, looks at how you can make space for a new freezer in your store.

Five weeks ago, as part of a refit we installed a 2m upright freezer in our shop, which is just 800sq ft.

We didn’t have any frozen food before, and this decision to install a freezer is in response to our customers’ changing needs. Since the nearby Spar closed down at the beginning of March our sales are up by 20%, and we found there is a big need for frozen. It’s about becoming a one-stop shop for our customers and the next thing we’ll be looking at is introducing fresh and chilled.

Top tip:

To make room for a freezer, identify the areas that are selling slowly and work out how to condense the
display down

It’s a challenge to make space for a 2m freezer, especially in a shop less than 1,000sq ft, but it can be done.

The key thing is this: look at your range and identify what’s moving too slowly. Are there any sections you can condense down to make room?

I spotted that we had too many cards, puzzle books and children’s magazines, so I’ve reduced the range and condensed the display. And that has made room for the freezer.

You might be worried about losing sales if you reduce your range like this, but the fact is we haven’t lost any sales at all. In fact it’s made the card and magazine displays look tidier and better.

Being new to frozen foods, I’ve been very careful to monitor our sales and ensure we are stocking the right products. We have things like pizzas, potato waffles and Yorkshire puddings – all at prices like £1 or two for £1.50.

Weekly sales are steadily increasing – up 15% in the second week, then 8% and then back up to 12%.