Spotlight on IAA finalists – Retail excellence: Hook Norton Post Office & SPAR Village store

Spotlight on IAA finalists – Retail excellence: Hook Norton Post Office & SPAR Village store

There for customers who like shopping little and often

While we wait for the results of the Independent Achievers Academy awards, we take a closer look at some of the 12 retailers with a Post Office who are through to the finals.

Hook Norton Post Office & SPAR village shop is through to the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) awards in the Effective Ranging category. This means they have got the right range of products for the customers in their rural Oxfordshire village.

Helping customers pick up ‘tea for tonight’

Postmaster Joe Williams, said: “There is a growing trend away from people just doing big supermarket shops back to people visiting convenience stores more regularly. 

He adds, “People are living busier lives and don’t necessarily know what their plans are for an evening or a weekend, or have not had a chance to plan ahead.

So, there has been a real growth in “tea for tonight” purchases. We have increased our chilled and fresh food ranges. Also people are becoming more conscious about food waste and caring for the environment, so rather than big shops they do more frequent smaller shops. We are adapting to changes in the market.

“Since changing to a SPAR store there has been a 20 per cent increase in sales of SPAR own brand products as customers recognise the brand and know that they can trust it.”

The store took on Hook Norton Post Office in March 2016, restoring Post Office service to the village. This has worked really well for Joe as it has increased retail sales in his store and made the store busier every day from early until late.

Convenience is key

Joe, said: “Customers find the seven day opening hours of the weekend very convenient and we have people using the Post Office from early until late every day for the wide range of Post Office products and services. People are at our doors first thing to send their parcels, as well as calling in throughout the day, or they can pop in after work or at the weekend. There has been a real increase in business banking and personal banking as we offer banking services on behalf of all the major banks.”

Fully understanding the retail needs of Joe’s customers have helped the store to reach the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA). Good luck in the finals!