Winning format for new-look Greens of Ellon

Sustainability, zero waste and local suppliers are three of the key focal points for Nisa partner Harris Aslam as he embarks on a new venture in Aberdeenshire.

Five months after taking on the former Costcutter site, Greens of Ellon has officially launched with a community celebration unveiling a raft of new and innovative concepts that will help drive the store forward in coming years.

This is the first new-look store for the Eros Retail team with plans to eventually roll out the formula across its other stores.

Greens of Ellon has installed wall dispensers housing an impressive selection of nuts, grains, pulses, fruits and seeds, moving away from single use plastics.

The store also boasts a local butchery counter and a bakery, ensuring the local supplier has a prominent place, something shoppers at the store are keen on.

Owner Harris Aslam explained that having acquired the store in August last year, he and his team spent time getting to know the store and its customers before making any changes.

“We have found out what works really well here as well as what doesn’t. Shoppers are quite affluent and they like the local suppliers; the local butchery has always worked very well.”

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The zero-waste range is another example of working with local suppliers. Within hours of announcing to shoppers of plans to introduce it, a local supplier who had recently opened a zero-waste store called Bare close by, contacted Harris. The supplier is now working in collaboration with Eros and the in-store zero-waste dispensers have been branded with the supplier’s name “Bare @ Greens”.

Next steps will a partnership with BrewDog and the installation of a growler station to enable shoppers to self-dispense beer into their own containers.

Harris said: “A lot of people are still treating zero waste initiatives as a fad and trying to capitalise on it, but I believe this is the future and it is simply going to grow and grow. When it comes to the zero-waste station, we have a better price point than the supermarkets because we don’t have the packaging costs to add in.”

The introduction of the ice cream and desserts range has also been well received by shoppers as has the Skwishee machine and vape store.

And while the store itself has almost halved in size down to 3,500 sq. ft the consolidation has enabled Harris and his team to focus on the most important areas.

“We have made the store considerably smaller, but we have added more in by innovating and ensuring the needs of our customers are addressed. I think it is going to be one of those stores that will need constant innovation and we will look forward to that challenge.”

The portfolio of Eros Retail stores, which is now being looked after by Nisa’s key accounts team will also be focusing on the integration of the Co-op range into store. Vicky Lockie, head of key accounts, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting Harris and everyone at Eros Retail and are looking forward to working with them on their exciting and innovative plans for the future.”

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