Independent budget chain Budgens has reported positive results following its overhaul of selected stores across England. The newly transformed stores were redesigned in order to appeal to high-end customers who are more likely to shop at upmarket grocers such as M&S Food and Waitrose. Internal research from Budgens has suggested that the change has been successful.
The grocer’s change in strategy and design was sparked by recent declining sales among out of town supermarkets, while small local convenience stores saw a rise in footfall.
Brand Director, Mike Baker reported “Our new proposition is all about making grocery shopping more interesting whilst highlighting the Budgens difference – supporting smaller suppliers, offering local seasonal food alongside the big brands,” he said.
The concept stores brought in more fresh products as well as an onsite bakery to up the focus on “authentic, affordable, artisanal and locally-produced foods”.
Baker further commented: “Premium retailers are usually better at providing experiences and connections which is why they are often hard to beat”.
In order to match certain higher-end grocers, Budgens will also offer a broader ‘Discover the Taste’ selection, a ‘Free Coffee Friday’ which will offer customers a free coffee when spending £10 or more in store and free WiFi. The beverage offer appears to be extremely popular after competitor Waitrose…
A survey of shopper’s attitudes taken before and after the relaunch of the flagship store in North London showed a significant improvement towards the Budgens brand and across most brand metrics. Nine out of 10 shoppers said they’ll return, while the number of items purchased per visitor per visit more than doubled.
Under the scrutiny of the recent dairy crisis affecting the larger grocery chains, the independent retailer now claims that 87% would choose Budgens because it sells more locally sourced products.
The complete overhaul sees the grocer also aiming to develop its brand communication and strengthen its ties to the local community, something the Brand Director stated had been neglected in the past.
Budgens’ strategy now focuses on the idea of “Everyday discovery at the heart of local life”.
“[It’s] about providing posh nosh for the masses, alongside good value brands you can trust,” he said. “We work with thousands of smaller suppliers and local food heroes, seeking out the very best produce that Britain has available so we can offer a twist on the daily shop.” Baker said.
The grocer is also catching up with the 21st century by beginning to build a social media presence, taking its first steps into Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
“We also signed up to O2 Priority Moments earlier in the year and early results have been very positive,” Baker added.