A major investment for Costcutter Hamiltonsbawn has ensured owners, Colin and Charlene Dodds, are able to cater for the store’s target demographic with more tailored food-to-go and shopping solutions.
Located in Hamiltonsbawn, a small village in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, Colin Dodds and his wife Charlene have owned the store for over 30 years. Both Colin and Charlene work in the business along with their team of 16 staff with their three daughters helping out from time to time.
As the only grocery store in the village, the family recognised there was a real need to rethink the store to ensure they continue to address a wider range of needs from the local community, as well as workers from the village-based engineering firm.
Guided by the CSG team and their Business Development Manager (BDM), in September 2018, Colin and Charlene invested over £110,000 to completely update the store.
Data from the Shopper First insights proved invaluable when planning the layout and ranging. It showed that their shoppers were mainly ‘habitual browsers’, (who top-up shop every day), ‘younger tonighters’ (who like to experiment and try new things) and ‘dynamic later lifers’ (who like to treat themselves).
Recognising that food-to-go, chilled and ‘meal for tonight’ were crucial to driving footfall and increasing basket spend, they invested in significantly expanding their hot and chilled food-to-go offer, including introducing a Costa Coffee machine and Country Choice, including sausage rolls and Irish jambon pastries. The team also increased their Polish food offering to meet the demand from workers based at the local engineering firm; in fact 50 percent of the bakery goods on offer are Polish products and a significant percentage of the fish, meat and alcohol offering is now Eastern European produce to cater for this demand.
The team now source the majority of their butchery offering from a local supplier and they have introduced a gourmet range of pre-prepared dishes such as chicken piri piri with peppers and stuffed pork chops, which is proving to be very popular.
The store owners have also taken the opportunity to introduce a whole range of the new Co-op own brand range which has been well received by shoppers thanks to its competitive pricing, extensive range and quality.
As a key lifeline for the local community, they also took the opportunity to introduce a Post Office counter which has proved particularly popular, helping drive footfall throughout the day.
As a direct result of the refit, sales are up by 20 percent. Grocery is currently experiencing the most significant increase, up 44 percent thanks to a bigger and better-quality offering. Average basket spend is now between £8.00 and £9.00.