There has been a lot a of good news over the last couple of weeks for my new store project. The change of use planning request has now been granted so it full speed ahead.

The builders are in and rapidly changing the inside of the former hotel into a shop with stockroom and 'back office' area. The agreed schedule gives the builder another four weeks to complete the transformation.

Both Camelot and PayPoint have told me that they will both be installing their terminals in time for our opening day.

One of the aspects of the proposed business that the local authority were interested in was how it is going to impact the local community.

I was been able sow from the evidence of my store at Coatshill Avenue that I take my social and community responsibility seriously. So they could see that the new store will have firm policy of alcohol, tobacco and energy drinks.

With the planning approval and licences in place the project now definitely making rapid progress. The approval from the local authority also allows me to set 9th November as the day we will be opening the doors to the public.

The builders are ahead of our schedule and the date that they will hand the site over to the shop fitters looks as though it may be brought forward by at least a week.

The relationship between builder and shop fitting contractor has been very positive and this has ensure that all the electrical wiring and installation will hopefully go without a hitch. The hotel already had a three phase supply so that was a bonus.

The quotes for the work that needs to be done are still coming in. The latest being to Tarmac the car park. To ensure that I keep up to date with the project I revisit the schedule each weekend and post the amended work plan up the office wall in the Coatshill store and at the new store.

Staffing is another area to be getting my attention and I now am producing a short list of applicants to interview for the 10 positions that we need to fill. The new employees will need to look the part so I have ordered the uniforms that they will need.

One of the things that my Coatshill store has not allowed me to do is to make high impact displays to drive big volumes of products on promotion. The ability to do his is on my list of must haves in the layout plan of the new store. As the shop floor plan shows there will be two of these displays at the front of the store.

With an opening date set I have been talking to the Booker Family Shopper team about a launch marketing campaign. More on this next time.