Swanage Co-op celebrates a £2.5m refit

A “much overdue” refurbishment of the Co-op in Kings Road West has now been completed and a pupil from Swanage’s St Mary’s School got to cut the ribbon at the ceremony.

To mark the store refit, Zack aged six from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Northbrook Road, who won the Co-op’s art competition, was the star guest at the celebrations.

The work on the store has included increasing the number of checkouts and self-service tills, an increase of space for most food sections, new fresh food cabinets, a new entrance and a new warehouse facility at the back of the supermarket.

Inside the relaunched Co-op in Swanage
Inside the relaunched Co-op in Swanage

More tills and new fresh food cabinets

“Offer a better range of food”

The Co-op’s south coast regional manager, Tony Davis said:

“It’s fantastic to see the change the refurbishment has made – it was well overdue. It now means we can offer a better range of food for the community in Swanage.

“We also recognise we cater for summer visitors as well and extending the store also means we can stock more products. So it was important that we got the work done, not just in time for Easter but also before the tourist season starts this year.”

Warehouse at the back of the Co-op in Swanage
Warehouse at the back of the Co-op in Swanage

The new warehouse at the back of the store with up-to-date loading equipment

“Adapt much easier to visitor numbers”

Swanage Co-op store manager, Simon Lightburn added:

“This is a massive investment and has really brought the store up to date. There’s new, clearer signage and the layout is much more organised.

“The new warehouse at the back will allow us to be a lot more flexible and adapt much easier to visitor numbers. We’re expecting it to get a lot busier for everyone soon, so getting this completed now, is perfect timing.”

Zack cuts the ribbon to mark the relaunch of the Swanage Co-op

Joining Zack at the relaunch is Pete Meteau representing RNLI Swanage Lifeguards, Suzie Eatwell from Swanage Tennis Club and Craig Wells representing Swanage Cricket Club, along with store manager, Simon Lightburn

Co-op’s local community fund

At the socially-distanced ceremony outside the store, there was also the Swanage Town Crier and representatives from the three organisations currently benefiting from the Co-op’s local community fund.

The way that the fund works is that every time a Co-op member shops in the store, a donation is made to their local chosen cause. This year they have a choice between the RNLI Swanage Lifeguards, Swanage Cricket Club and Swanage Tennis Club.

Handing out goodie bags at the relaunched Co-op in Swanage

Handing out goodie bags

As part of the day, the staff were handing out goodie bags to customers to say thank you for their patience while the work has taken place.

It has also been an extraordinary time for the Co-op, as the town’s largest food shop, during the pandemic. The staff have continued to work tirelessly throughout the crisis, ensuring that residents were supplied with essentials.

Tony Davis said:

“The success of this relaunch is testament to the hard work of my colleagues and the staff in Swanage. I’m extremely proud of how much they have been able to achieve through lockdown.

“Today is a really happy occasion and even the sun came out to make it even better!”

Swanage Town Crier, Andrew Fleming

Swanage Town Crier, Andrew Fleming

Swanage Town Crier at the Co-op

The especially adapted cry by Swanage Town Crier, Andrew Fleming on the occasion of the Swanage Co-op relaunch

The Sea and this Store make old Swanage our home
the food isles are there for our pleasure to roam

with castles and Co-op and quarries and cliffs
with beaches and blossoms and bargains you can’t miss

the peace of the morning, the sound of the sea
a new day of shopping, now awaits you and me

Swanage Co-op is relaunched and we all agree
’tis a privilege to shop here and spend our money locally

The town crier at the flower stall
Large selection of vegetables

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