The village store is at the heart of the village – it sits just off the busy A15 which runs through Lincoln, Bourne and Peterborough carrying commuters in each direction. Roadside parking means it’s not too difficult for drivers to stop. The village, with approximately 2000 residents has its own primary school and secondary school pupils catch the bus into Bourne – stopping of course, at the Post Office along their journey. In addition, there are a number of small businesses in the area, a church and a pub on the main road. The villagers are fairly affluent and there’s a strong sense of community here – they even host their own, well attended festival each summer on their playing fields, with local bands and catering vans.
The key to the village-based store success, Mrs Kaur asserts, is that she supports local businesses in her fresh food offering. Local residents appreciate the fresh meat delivered regularly by the local butcher and fresh cakes and bread from a local baker as well as fruit and vegetables from a local producer. The products she stocks are more likely to be grocery products for last minute purchases than soft drinks and takeaway food. Budget lines don’t do so well for this village store though some less expensive lines have recently been introduced to help with the increased cost of living. This switch has also helped when keeping all products in stock through challenging times. Alcohol sells well, and the store keeps a decent range of quality wines, beers and ciders. Vapes are a growing area, that Mrs Kaur is tentatively exploring.
Inside the door there is a seasonal area, hot drinks, Fwip chiller and magazines to the left, and easy to reach individual serve soft drinks chiller to the right. A number of cold snacks are in the chiller here too. Further inside is the Post Office and Shop Counter. Towards the rear of the stores is a good selection of wines, along with chilled wine and beer. The centre console holds a selection of chocolate confectionery and bakery items on the reverse. Opposite the console is a section with milk and cheese. The store opens up into a second section containing, greetings cards, family soft drinks, frozen meals and ices, pet foods, groceries and toiletries.
This store is a great example of how to adapt the standard range to suit a specific demographic. Mrs Kaur’s range takes into account the affluence and the shopping styles of her customers. She is aware of the exact services that residents appreciate like the late opening post office counter to encourage repeat visits and providing the products that suit their lifestyle.