Spar wholesaler, James Hall, is planning to build its business with retailers in the north west by promoting fresh foods and in-store investment.
The move follows the opening of a new depot in Preston.
The Bowland View depot, which became fully operational in February, occupies a 45-acre site, and is four times the size of the company’s previous depot.
The site comprises a 45,000sq m warehouse, 3,000sq m of office space,a 700sqm training facility, a 275sq m Spar store and petrol filling station. It is located near the M6 motorway.
The new distribution depot is said to be multi-functional and capable of handling all types of goods as well as fresh food manufacturing. According to James Hall, this underscores its commitment to bring fresh foods to Spar stores across the region.
Peter Dodding, retail director at James Hall, said the new depot would help deliver new fresh food initiatives for retailers this year and build on the launch of daily delivery of all fresh food lines supplied by James Hall, including sandwiches.
“Retailers need to keep moving forward and introducing a fresh approach to their businesses, with the goal of increasing sales from fresh foods and offering value to customers,” said Dodding.
The wholesaler is also relaunching its Harvest Scheme, an initiative set up in 2006 to reward retailer loyalty and encourage investment in their stores.
James Hall is investing further in the scheme by doubling the amount a retailer has earned on the scheme with the company’s money.
“The new and improved Harvest Scheme means Spar retailers with Hall’s – both existing and new – have a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the added investment we are offering them to improve and develop their stores,” said Dodding.
“We are not slowing down our retail investment. Until December we have £2m available between all our schemes for retailers to use. It’s our new structured step-by-step approach to help retailers
invest with us and build their business. “
Meanwhile, a host of fresh food initiatives are in the pipeline, including the launch of a continental breakfast meal deal, a range of sandwiches and food-to-go products.
Three new low fat sandwiches are being introduced plus four products without mayonnaise, claimed to build on James Hall’s commitment to healthy eating. All Spar sandwiches will now also have a new label and image.
“Fresh food is what customers want and have come to expect from convenience stores – shoppers buying fresh food also spend more in store,” said Dodding.
“These are just some of the exciting new launches and initiatives to drive sales forward this year as we continue to build stronger sales and profitability and a stronger brand.”
James Hall serves more than 450 Spar stores across the North of England.