Innovation in the East

I was incredibly proud to open our latest locale in Grouville last week. This opening marked the culmination of over two years of hard work, starting with the acquisition of the site leading through to the various design, planning and execution phases. We have been overwhelmed by the community reaction to our new store and are thrilled that our many members in the east of Jersey will finally enjoy the benefits of what we offer our customers close to home.

I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have a clean sheet of paper when building a store. No pillars getting in the way, great circulation space between aisles, natural light punching through skylights at the back of the store, I could go on. All too often we find ourselves having to compromise in some way to ‘shoehorn’ our proposal into the space. This time we finally got to do it the right way – design the whole package for your store first, then build the walls and ceiling around and above it.

The store itself tells some interesting stories. Firstly, we have introduced i-viewer technology to assist those of us who may have difficulties in reading the product labelling. Small print is getting smaller all the time! Many of our members have been telling us that understanding ingredients, calorific content and nutritional information are key parts of their shopping mission. We understand this. They also told us that they often pop in to our shops on impulse and might not have their reading glasses, hindering their shopping experience. We believe that the 23 i-viewers that we have installed in Grouville will assist greatly with helping our community feel confident about what they buy.

You can’t help but notice the solar panels that cover the south facing roof elevation. With the assistance of Sun Works CI Limited, a young but growing Jersey company, we have future-proofed our energy costs through the installation of this efficient and environmentally friendly technology. It is anticipated that enough electricity to power five households will be produced and will help contribute to the energy demands of the store. Keep a look out for the display panel in the store, which keeps track of the power that we are generating.

Although not quite as noticeable, there are many other energy efficient elements to our stores now. These include heat reclaim technology, voltage optimisation and low energy LED ceiling and case lighting. Probably enough for a future blog!

Huge thanks must go to our great team for bringing this impressive unit together. Sector-leading space planning, merchandising, ranging and store design do not happen by accident. We have some really great people and I hope they feel very proud that they have raised the bar on neighbourhood shopping in the islands.

I hope you will visit the store and, if you do, please let me know what you think. After all, if you’re a member, you own it!

CM

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