Moneen filling stations gets a ‘Mace lift’

The Moneen Mace store in Andersonstown is embedded in a hive of activity. People come from all over the country for the quality of food and beverages on offer as well as outstanding customer service. Earlier this year the store underwent a significant refurbishment, welcoming Frank and Honest coffee and a new state-of-the-art deli that the surrounding community can’t get enough of.

Regional manager Mark Boyd spoke to Neighbourhood Retailer about how the new look has brought fresh success to the store.

“In August we stripped the shop back and realised that the shining star of the shop was going to be our deli area. Mace have introduced a new concept store, so we got on board with that and rebranded the place to “Munch and Co” in the deli and introduced the Frank and Honest coffee company.

“We gutted out the entire shop and reworked it so it is now driven around our deli area as our central selling point in the store. We also brought in Frank and Honest coffee to the shop too which has more than doubled our sales in coffee already.

“The fresh look to the store has really lifted the spirits of the staff too.”

In 2015 the company launched ‘Mace Lift’ – a new ‘store of the future’ concept which involves the renovation of Mace shops all over the island of Ireland. The main areas that have been revamped within the store include the Deli, bakery, butchery, off licence and coffee stand. In line with the latest retail fit-out trends, the new Mace stores include a renovated colour scheme and fresh signage incorporating the Mace ‘Smiley’ character, reinforcing the retailer’s preeminent focus on customer service.

Keeping up with contemporary food trends and environmental movements, the Moneen store have incorporated a wide range of health food options to meet special dietary requirements and cater for a range of consumers, whilst making sure they are also playing their part in sustaining the environment with recyclable takeaway packaging.

“With the Munch & Co deli we’ve brought in a new range of burritos and healthy food options for people to choose from. We also introduced a new sandwich fridge at the front which is based around healthy eating.

“Every Frank and Honest coffee cup is recyclable. Every Frank and Honest station uses 100% compostable cups. I think convenient stores are caring more and more about how they’re doing their bit for the environment so it’s good to know we’ve incorporated a company that prioritises that.”

The Moneen site has been a mainstay of the Anderstonstown Road for almost a generation, so there was no surprise when community members didn’t initially agree with plans to see their local store undergo major changes.

“There was mixed emotions at the start, some people were not very keen with how much work we were doing to the site as it was already a favourite spot for convenience shopping and we had to close for a little bit of time. But in general, the new face lift has been a real hit.”

Apart from the excellent coffee and deli delights on offer, Mark says that above all what drives people to the Moneen store is the committed staff and the strong connections they’ve made with regular customers.

“I’m actually surprised by how much of a community network there is at Moneen, not just with the people who live close by, but with local clubs, charities, and football organisations who are connected with us and support what we’re about.

“Since the refurbishment, we’ve received nothing but positive feedback from people, especially regarding the coffee. People are always commenting saying there’s no coffee like it, others have driven from all over Belfast to come and get it.

“The staff who are there have been there for a lifetime. They’re all local and so know the community really well. There’s an ongoing relationship and connection between the local consumers and staff, and I think that’s what really makes a difference. People come in and know who’s going to serve them, and conversations just naturally flow. There’s almost like a little community in the shop itself.

“Having the community behind us is massive. The fact that the place is also thriving with life and we have a very small turnover of staff with people wanting to stay on and work for years just proves that it’s a really special place to be.

“We are unlike any other convenient store in that come rain or shine, we’re always open. Over the Christmas period there wasn’t one hour when the shop was closed. In fact, Christmas Day ended up being one of the busiest days of the year. I think that’s an even bigger testimony to how much the community needs are valued.”

The group regularly supports and contributes to the local community and charities. Mark tells that in the New Year they’re continuing to find ways to give back to the area and make a difference.

“We’ve got plans to raise funds this summer for local charities in the city with several family and sporting events. Dates aren’t confirmed yet, but we’ve got a biking event coming up with some special guests.”

With growing success and exciting projects on the horizon, Mark shares his predictions into sale trends in store in over the next year.

“The main sales are always going to be in our cold and hot deli area, so we’re going to see an advancement of revenue coming in through that for sure. We’ve also started to drive our pre-packed food sales, and we’ve already hired another member of staff for that in preparation for more demand.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *