My Family Shopper project is now going full speed ahead. The builders have now finished inside the building and have transformed the former hotel into it's new layout ready for the shop fitters to complete the transformation.

After researching a variety of floor coverings including a resin product that would have lasted for more than 30 years I eventually chose ceramic tiles.

The ceiling has been installed and is fitted with low energy LED lighting. These units are 600 mm by 600 mm and consume just 36 watts of electricity.

This is 50% less than the fluorescent lighting. They come with a 3 year guarantee and as with everything else about the project I have search out the best price. The supplier this time is Direct Lighting Distributors of Sturminster Newton in Dorset.

Continuing on the theme of low energy our chiller cabinets will have doors and the freezers will have lids. All the hot water taps through out the building will have water heated by a gas boiler.

In the longer term I am looking to invest in solar water heating when grants for this become available. I am looking to deliver a store with a low environmental impact not only because it is the responsible thing to do, but also it will save the business money.

A big step forward has been selecting and appointing 11 people to work in the new store. Some are from my Coatshill Avenue shop and the rest are new.

They will start working about two weeks before we open with a early task being to learn about our age restricted products policy that covers alcohol, tobacco and lottery. I also include energy drinks in this training as I have a policy of not selling these products to under 16 year olds'.

98 people applied to work in my new store and I interviewed 61 of these.

Although I have only employed 11 people this time around I have told a handful of the unsuccessful candidates that I would like to keep them on file in case we have any vacancies in the future.

I have however written to all of the unsuccessful applicants as a courtesy.

There is still much to do in the next couple of weeks as we approach opening day and I will be reporting about our launch plans soon.