Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eagle Service Station

This afternoon was the launch day for the new Nisa-Today store at Eagle Service Station.  I was rather surprised to be invited along, having opposed the award of a liquor licence, but even more surprised when I found that I was invited to cut the ribbon at the opening.  It was a good opportunity to find out how the business is going and if there were any issues needing attention.  The shop certainly looks better organised and better stocked than previously, with some surprisingly competitive pricing.  I hadn't realised till today just what a big organisation Nisa is nor that it's a retailer-owned company with no large shareholders. 
We had a chat about the possibility of offering some Fairtrade products other than Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and perhaps doing a promotion during Fairtrade Fortnight.  I look forward to developing that discussion further.  I also had a look at their CCTV system which is very modern and looked quite impressive.  I haven't heard any complaints since the shop opened and I hope that continues.  16 cameras certainly means that they have the shop and the forecourt pretty well covered.
Children were enjoying being photographed with the giant teddy bear as well as having their faces painted and balloons made into all manner of shapes.  All in all, a fun afternoon.
The licensing committee of Stockton Council agreed that after 12 months of trading they'd want to see the figures to show whether the shop or the fuel has the greater sales, and if it's fuel then the liquor licence has to go - a garage can't sell alcohol but an off-licence shop can sell petrol.  Strange legal quirk, but true.  It'll be interesting to see the balance at the end of a year.  Meanwhile it seems that the owner is trying to be a good neighbour to the residents.  Let's hope it continues that way.

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