Brand: Heron Foods Product: High street convenience stores Consultant: Mike Igoe Objective: Refresh and redesign of stores, implementation of new card processing infrastructure + in-store ATMs.
Heron Foods is a discount convenience retailer. In 2019, they bucked industry trends by opening 14 new stores taking them to over 290 stores in total. In 2017, the company joined forces with B&M, the UK's leading discount retailer.
Heron Foods trades in local neighbourhoods and centres and are proud of their association with the communities they serve. The majority of their store portfolio is made up of small to medium sized units, most of which open long, flexible hours.
I initially started working for Heron on a consultancy basis. My remit was to refresh and redesign stores across the whole estate of around 200 stores at the time. I was later employed by the company as Commercial Director.
During my time with the company, the whole look and feel of the stores was lifted so that stores became a much more professional, focussed and friendly place to shop. The uplift in sales was immediate with a return on capital on each store approaching 100% per annum.
In addition, I introduced a number of initiatives into stores, including the implementation and renegotiation of a new card processing hardware and infrastructure, which improved card processing times in store, and increased the average spend on card transactions. The percentage of card transactions increased from 11% of total transactions to over 30%, which meant much lower CIT charges, and improved cash flow.
I led the project to introduce ATMs into a number of stores, which helped to retain cash in store, reducing CIT charges and producing an income stream to the company of some £700k per annum. Post Offices were also introduced into larger stores, many of which still operate today. The uplift in footfall this helped to generate was considerable.
I also led the engagement with a number of charities including Teenage Cancer Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish and Save the Children, which led to some really positive feedback and interaction from staff and customers, hugely elevated the company’s profile and raised over £500,000 in the process.