The townland of Culloville, on the border in South Armagh, has its fair share of convenience stores but the latest addition to the market has really raised the bar.
Devlin’s complex on Concession Road, the main link between the M1 and M2 motorways, is a brand new development that has taken 15 months to complete and houses a state-of-the-art Costcutter store, new forecourt and stand-alone off-licence.
Well known in the Culloville area, the Devlin family have been involved in retail for many years and run the successful Dev-Oil business – a brand that has been incorporated in to the new forecourt.
A retail store has operated on the site for many years but the Devlin family thought it was time to up the ante and create a destination for the local customers and provide a welcome rest stop for commuters – something they have successfully achieved.
The new 2,000 sq ft Costcutter convenience store boasts everything you would expect plus some additional extras such as a hot and cold deli and seating area for up to 20 people.
Store manager Jim McConnon explained: “It’s a fantastic looking store, well laid out, well branded, well merchandised and well priced so the reaction from customers has been extremely positive.”
Jim continued: “We do homemade breakfasts and lunches and in the evening we offer takeaways such as fish and chips, quarter pounder and chips – good quality convenience foods.”
For commuters stopping for a coffee, the store has opted for the Tim Hortons brand, which has been a huge success in bringing people in to the store.
Based right on the border, Devlin’s services customers from north and south of the border so having bill pay facilities for both NI and RoI is creating footfall, as is the free ATM.
As any good retail outlet would, Devlin’s Costcutter is teaming up with as many local suppliers as possible and the butchery offering is proving popular with high quality pre-packs and
Jim agrees that “it’s a must for any convenience retailer these days as customers expect local produce”.
Jim said: “You could certainly do a full shop in the store and Costcutter are providing some very good promotions; I would say 600-700 lines are discounted and we have many lines for £1.”
He added: “Customers want value but they still want quality. We are also stocking Costcutter’s Independent own brand which we feel delivers value and a good level of quality.”
In addition to the store, the new forecourt has the striking Dev-Oil branding. The Devlin family has a successful oil company and Dev-Oil is the retail offering of which this site is the first to be branded. The plan is to now roll this out across other forecourts.
Fuel sales, especially on the border, are a tough market with currency fluctuations but with the Devlin family’s experience in this area means the forecourt will aim to always offer a good quality and competitive offering.
The complex also boasts a stand-alone off-licence, which is proving a wide range of beers, wines and spirits and the new development created 25 new jobs that have been a real boost for the locality.
Looking at the store’s early performance, Jim revealed: “We are trading very well and we are ahead of where we expected to be.
“We are seeing a steady level of growth every week so it is progressively getting busier.”
He added: “There are small changes being made as we go along just to tweak things but it’s all positive. It’s a fairly competitive road due to the retailers around us so we have to at the top of our game and the new store will ensure that we are.”
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