Forecourt Spar shop gets £100,000 grant at awards show to expand Ruskington business

DC Baxter's forecourt and shop. EMN-200120-135239001
DC Baxter's forecourt and shop. EMN-200120-135239001

A village petrol station is to benefit from a £100,000 investment to transform its forecourt convenience shop.

Major wholesale grocery company Blakemore Trade Partners has pledged a £100,000 investment to Spar retailer Paul Baxter to enable him to transform his store at D C Baxter Motors in Ruskington.

The investment, which was awarded as a prize at Blakemore Trade Partners’ SPAR Retail Show, will enable Paul to extend his store by around 350 sq ft to provide additional selling space and a new layout to improve the range of goods on offer.

D C Baxter Motors is a third-generation family business that was established in 1971 by Paul’s grandfather. It joined Spar in 2010, while remaining independent.

In 2015 Paul invested heavily in his forecourt by installing new fuel tanks and fuel pumps. This was followed by a brand new car park in 2017 and the installation of solar panels in 2019. But he realised he still needed to modernise the interior of his store to serve customers’ needs.

He explained: “We have overlooked the opportunity to become what our village wants us to be: a convenience store that fulfils people’s need for fresh quality foods.”

He wanted to be the destination to get all ingredients for ‘tonight’s tea’, as well as being able to follow market trends.

Paul plans to use the co-investment to expand fresh, grocery and wine ranges as well as the Spar premium offer and the chilled and frozen lines.

Paul added: “My long-term plan is to ensure the continuation of my family heritage by keeping up to date with customer needs and improving the range of products and services available in the store.”

Blakemore director Louis Drake said it was essential stores evolve and invest to stay ahead of the competition.