James Graven opens eco-friendly store in Cambridgeshire

New eco-friendly Spar forecourt

Spar retailer James Graven has opened an eco-friendly forecourt store in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, in partnership with Spar’s ‘Stores of the Future’ programme.

The store incorporates a number of environmental initiatives and promotes its community involvement. It is designed to combine the brand and history of an independent family retailer with the convenience expertise of Spar.

All the fridges in the store have sliding doors and POS material has been provided to promote the environmental savings and advantages of using doors. It also reuses rain water for its car wash, and natural wood and exposed brickwork has been used in the design for a more natural feel.

The Littleport store supports its local community by offering products from local suppliers in its range. Examples include Cambridgeshire beers, wine from Ely vineyards and local bread.

To promote the store’s pride in the geography of the local region, a Fens’ bog oak is displayed on the forecourt, with an educational lectern to explain its significance.

Store owner Jonathan James has developed the store over three years and invested a total of £1.5m on the construction of the forecourt and retail unit.

Spar Littleport: wooden exterior

Spar Littleport: cleaner, greener forecourt

Spar UK retail director Richard Bennett said he was excited about the opening of the store: “This is a model store that clearly demonstrates how James Graven and Spar are working together to create an outlet with cutting-edge design, that fully supports the regional community, local producers and the environment.

James said: “Although this is a Spar store, I wanted my customers to know it’s owned and run by a family firm. The store is as Spar as it can be, but I wanted to show it’s also an independent business.

As a result, James Graven branding is featured on the exterior and interior and includes signage, plaques and photographs. Notice boards and community boards are also used to heighten the local, neighbourhood feel.

The store occupies 1,450sq ft with food-for-now and impulse sections at the front of the store and promotional and product ranges, including ‘Tonight’s Tea’, ‘Top Up’, ‘Everyday Life’ and ‘Entertain Me’, to the rear.

There is also a range of hot food-to-go with a separate counter.

James said Littleport served 7,000 customers in the first week of trading and has already reached its first year fuel and shop sales target.

Littleport is James Graven’s sixth store in the area. It also operates three Budgens and a further two Spar stores.