Mark McCammond, Retail Director at Henderson Group, commented; “we started this build back in 2019, and had originally hoped to open in May however, due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, we had to stop the construction and of course, adjust our plans around the future of retail here in Northern Ireland.”
As one of the essential businesses which remained open throughout lockdown, Mark says they have overcome huge challenges to set the standard of safety across the entire network, and the project at SPAR Carnmoney Hill has provided an opportunity to incorporate all the new safety measures as part of the store design.
“Overnight we had to put safety measures in place as an essential business providing a service for our local communities. Including our independent retail stores, there are over 460 SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO branded stores in Northern Ireland. We moved fast, to secure all the vital materials we needed to provide the safest possible environment for shoppers and staff, even as lockdown eases.”
Beyond the enhanced distancing and safety features, the store will operate with an abundance of fresh and locally sourced products, a local butchery counter from Irvine’s Chop Shop, a SPAR Bakery and will stock ‘The Chef’ range of ready-prepared meals from the brand’s chef partner, Carl Johannesson.
The store was officially opened by local resident and recently retired former SPAR store manager, Bertie Tyrrell. He was joined by his wife Kate. who also worked for the company.
Mark added; “the amenities and services provided in the store are second to none, including our popular Barista Bar coffee and treats. We are also looking forward to launching our Mauds Ice-cream counter as local customers will be aware that Carnmoney Hill was the original retail outlet for the famous local brand. The store will also feature self-scan checkouts as another option for customers looking for fast, contactless payment methods.”
About SPAR UK
The UK became a member of SPAR in 1956 when a group of independent wholesalers was granted the SPAR licence by SPAR International. There are five regional partners in the UK with strategically placed Distribution Centres in each region. A central office, located in London, provides national marketing and buying services for the group and supports the development of the brand.
SPAR has led the convenience market in the UK for many years but has faced increasing competition. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. Throughout the UK, a combination of independently-owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores can be found, spanning forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhoods.