The site has been transformed and looks fantastic. Can you tell us how it came about?
My dad has been running New North Road for 20 years and 18-months ago I gave up my job as a mechanical engineer to join him. Family is at the heart of this business and I could see that there was real potential to extend the offer - especially on the retail side. So we decided to invest in the business to make it the best it can possibly be. We now have a SPAR branded shop that is more than twice the size of the old one plus we have the new JET branding which makes a real statement and has been hugely popular.
Can you tell us a bit more about the rebrand and what the response has been from your customers
We now have a really modern forecourt and retail offer that is designed to meet the needs of our customers in 2021 and beyond - and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. ‘Beautiful’, ‘clean’ and ‘modern’ are just a few of the words that come up time and time again. I feel like this is what the community wanted, what they needed and I also think that as brands - JET and SPAR really complement each other. Part of our ambition for the business looking forward is to attract new customers - and it’s already happening.
Your father Janu is famous for his incredible flowers – how important is it to have a USP?
I think having a unique selling point is important for every business. My dad has a real passion for flowers - you should see his garden it’s incredible! And you’re right, we are known for selling some of the best-quality cut flowers in the area and at certain times of the year like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s - there will be queues around the block. He is very proud of the fact that on one of those occasions flower sales topped £20,000 – in just one day! And now they have pride of place in the new shop - a colourful way to greet customers as they enter. We have also added some more unique products that will help make us a destination site including a Tango Ice Blast machine, Costa Coffee and some top-quality fresh meats plus hot food-to-go.
You have worked with JET for a long time - how would you describe the relationship?
It’s strong, loyal and trusted. My dad and Chris Murphy get on very well and he is in-tune with the business and what we need from JET. As a business, JET listen and that makes for a very positive working relationship.
Tell us about a standout moment at JET New North Road
I’ve been trying to think of some specific moments and obviously the crazy flower day was a great memorable day! But actually right now is the standout moment. The refurb, the new vision - 2021 is the standout moment and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this business today and in the future.