(Left to right) – Elaine Mlotkiiewicz, Sales Assistant with The Co-operative at Earlsdon, Mark Borrill, Store Manager; Sam Buxton, Area Manager for the Heart of England Co-operative Society; Mike Kendall, Sales Assistant, and Janet Arnold, Deputy Store Manager.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Customers at the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Earlsdon store will notice a raft of changes during their next shop following the completion of a £664,000 refit to boost the offering to the local community.
The Society has introduced a number of new features to the store which has served the Earlsdon community for more than 120 years.
The investment goes against the grain in the retail industry, coming at a time when many retailers consolidate.
It follows a major refit of the store over the past six weeks.
The inside of the store has been given a new layout.
Customers can choose from a selection of hot and cold drinks including Costa Coffee, Tango Ice Blast and F’Real milk shakes. There is also a water refill station as the Society aims to reduce the use of plastic water bottles, as well as a packaging free zone where customers can take their own containers to fill with selected items.
The water refill station and packaging free zone were introduced following a survey by the Society asking customers what changes they would like to see in-store.
Other facilities include USB charging stations, a seating area and Amazon lockers, which also followed customer suggestions.
Other ideas from Earlsdon customers, which the Society had already started to implement across its stores, include self-scanning tills and an increased range of locally-sourced produce. Last year, following a successful pilot scheme, the Society started rolling out its Local @ Heart campaign which gives local producers a platform from which to sell their goods. So far there are 350 different locally-produced products on Society shelves. These include sausages, crisps and oils, flowers, and beers, wines and spirits and the Society is always keen to work with more local businesses who would like to sell their own products from Society shelves.
Steve Browne, General Manager of the Society’s Food Division, said: “Our Earlsdon store has played a huge role in the local community for well over a century. Many of the new features we have introduced have been inspired by the needs of the modern-day consumer and will ensure the store will continue to play a vital role for many more years to come.
“More than just a local store, our aim is for the residents of Earlsdon to view their local Co-operative as a vital community hub. We asked our customers to think of additional features they would like to see in the store. We received some great suggestions and have done our best to accommodate them, so we are making excellent use of our space.
“We are extremely proud of our new-look store which has seen some vast changes and we are sure our customers will love it just as much as we do.”
The Society supports local suppliers wherever possible – from the produce on the shelves through to the installation of its energy efficient lighting, heating and refrigeration – to reduce its carbon footprint.