We are very excited about the announcement of our latest development! We can confirm that our new store will be situated on the ground floor of 22 Colomberie. We estimate that over 20 new jobs will be created by this development alone and we are really looking forward to getting this project underway.
Our new Locale store will be located on the corner of La Colomberie and Grenville Street. We can’t wait to transform the ground floor of this tired office building into a new, modern and convenient shopping experience for our many members who live, commute through or work in the south east of St Helier.
Colomberie Locale will be an exciting addition to our store portfolio and will take its place alongside the new Grouville Locale in Jersey, the new En Route at the GT Cars site in Guernsey, the extended store at Maufant and the planned redevelopment of Charing Cross. These developments will deliver more choice and convenience for our members and will assist with the creation of new jobs in both islands. A wide variety of roles will be available and, as we build our store teams, we will be supporting our colleagues who are looking for new opportunities to develop and continue their careers within the Society.
Our market here in the islands is undergoing one of the biggest structural shifts in generations, this changing consumer behaviour is something our members expect us to respond to.
Firstly we have demographic shifts; we have an aging population and, with mobility sometimes a challenge for this sector of our community, it is important that this group can rely on local stores that give them the opportunity to shop little and often, thriving on the sense of community that a local store can offer.
Our plans for Colomberie include the conversion of redundant upper floor office space to social housing, which is desperately needed by our community. We propose to use a building model designed to reuse existing built fabric in new ways, supporting the concept of increased urbanisation and promoting St Helier as a place to live.
Furthermore, we all have increasingly busy lifestyles and often work long hours. This economic shift places increased emphasis on the importance of free time and, with travel more expensive than ever, this group of consumers have found shopping little and often helps them better manage both their budgets and their time.
The long-term trends in the wider UK market reflect more convenience driven propositions according to leading commentators, who predict annual growth rates of 6% in the sector against only 1% in larger supermarkets.
Our Members have said…
Members of the Society have reflected changes in their challenges to using our stores. Our most recent Member Research included the following comments:
“I would love to use the Society more but other stores are more convenient to me”
“I travel in to town from the east and don’t have any Co-ops on my way”
“Travelling to larger stores eats too much into my time”
Ensuring we have good store coverage, particularly in our towns, is important because customers are shopping more locally, more often and are choosing their preferred store based on a combination of factors, including location, product quality, product range and price. Research conducted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) supports what our members are telling us about the particular importance of a convenient location, especially in urban areas where many people shop on foot. The IGD research found that almost half of convenience store shoppers (46%) felt that the ability to shop locally on foot was the number one priority when choosing a convenience store.
The location in context
Colomberie is an ideal location for a new Locale store because although we have a strong presence in the town centre and the north of St Helier, the Society does not currently offer our members a convenient store in this busy area. The site is located along a key gateway commuter route which connects the town centre with Georgetown and the south east of the island. The local area is home to a substantial residential population, two key car parks and a number of large office buildings including JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, State Street, Mourant Ozannes and the States of Jersey Social Security Department. The Jersey Police will soon be relocating to a premises close by which will add to the high level of foot and car traffic through the area.
As I mentioned, there is more good news for the site. Alongside our Locale store, the ground floor of 22 Colomberie will also include a second small retail unit on the La Colomberie side. These new stores will bring much needed new life to the ground floor, but the transformation doesn’t end there; the three upper floors of the building have been acquired by a local developer who will create 19 new social housing flats for local families.
As part of this renovation, the exterior of the building will also be rendered, insulated and modernised to transform this ‘ugly duckling’ office block into a sustainable and environmentally friendly residential building. The development of the new flats and the regeneration of the building will bring additional employment for local tradesmen.
We are look forward to welcoming our members to our new store on La Colomberie and to bringing new vitality to the area. We hope to open our doors in autumn 2015.
We welcome the chance to create many new jobs in the Society, particularly at this time. As a Society owned by and run for the benefit of all members, we hope that this announcement demonstrates that we are listening. Our members keep asking for more convenient locations. And we keep doing our very best to respond.