Convenience meets freshness at Spar

PENWORTHAM, England — Sometimes, in looking for new ideas in the retail industry, it helps to take a peek outside the borders of the United States. 

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Spar — the United Kingdom’s largest convenience store group — has opened its latest flagship store that it calls “the next generation in convenience retail.” The new store in Penwortham, Lancashire, features standalone shelves near the front entrance with bins and baskets piled high with fresh fruit, vegetables and bread to create what the company calls an “authentic market feel.” 

In addition to new products, the store also includes new technologies like free Wi-Fi and mobile phone-charging units.

Overall, the store is designed to have a fresh, modern look in an effort to create a new store type that the company said could be replicated nationwide. Spar, originally founded in the Netherlands in 1932, operates on a franchise model, with more than 2,600 stores in the United Kingdom.

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