Racing ahead

Londis, Racecourse Foodhall, Phoenix Park, has performed strongly since opening on 16 April 2010
Londis, Racecourse Foodhall, Phoenix Park, has performed strongly since opening on 16 April 2010

Excellent product range and service culminated in Londis, Racecourse Foodhall, Phoenix Park, Dublin, receiving the C-Store Gold Award for Stores less than 2,000 sq ft



16 January 2012

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“An old school way of doing things” is what lies behind the success of Londis, Racecourse Foodhall, Phoenix Park, according to retailer Jonathan Gillan. “The old way of customer service, packing people’s bags and bringing them out for them and that kind of thing is lost in Dublin,” says Gillan, who ensures strong customer service remains firmly at the centre of his own Londis store. “It’s the attitude of the staff; everybody gets a nice hello, good morning, how are you; a friendly welcome,” he adds.

Fantastic surprise on the night

Being recognised for providing such high service levels as well as driving overall standards, was “fantastic,” says the C-Store Gold Award winner. Commenting on his reaction to scooping the award, Gillan says: “It was a shock, even to hear that we were nominated was an honour. The night was great, I genuinely wasn’t expecting to win, and it was fantastic getting it. We were told we got the runner-up award in the off-licence category first and I was delighted to get that because we’ve got a very good off-licence out there, and then to hear we’d won the Gold for stores less than 2,000 sq ft was brilliant.” He adds that many thanks are owed to “the sponsors of the event, ShelfLife, and all the people in Londis, Stephen O’Riordain, Terry O’Brien, all the marketing team and everybody working in head office.”

He highly commends all his staff for the essential role they played in achieving the accolade; describing them as “very friendly and confident” as well as doing a “brilliant” job at maintaining the store’s high standards. ADM Londis also offers strong staff training according to the retailer who finds the group’s ‘Seven C’s’ programme useful. “The staff-training drive by Londis is excellent”, he says. “Anything you want done, they offer, be it IT or training within any area.”

The store’s impressive performance since it opened on 16 April 2010, can also be attributed to an attractive layout with “large windows and low shelving. It’s very fresh, it’s very clean looking, and it’s always spotless,” says Gillan. “With the wide aisles, you’re able to get around it easily, and everything’s very well laid out.”

A local contender

It’s little wonder that the store has proved a hit with its large local custom base. Within The Racecourse development, there are over 700 apartments, and within a mile radius beyond this, the store caters for thousands of homes. The Londis store also benefits from excellent access both off the N3 and from the old Castleknock Road. With parking in plentiful supply, it represents a convenient option for shoppers keen not to get caught in a traffic snarl-up en route to Castleknock village.

Sized just under 2,000 sq ft, the Racecourse Foodhall works hard to provide the varied range its customers are looking for. “We’ve a good range of value offerings, and we have all the special offers that always perform well. We’ve the higher end line of goods as well because the area that we’re in here, there is a taste for the high-end as well, including artisan foods, so we have to have a good range of that.” Further commenting on the value secured by the Londis group, Gillan says: “The value has been excellent from Londis. The buyers are doing a fantastic job.”

Community hub

A focus on ensuring customers don’t leave the store disappointed, has contributed to it becoming a well-known community hub. “You get to know everybody, you get to know all the faces, and we keep a notice board here at the shop too,” says Gillian.

In this regard, the retailer had a solid example to aspire to as his parents also own a community-focused Londis Plus in Summerhill, Co Meath, which Gillan worked in from a young age. When asked how his parents responded to their retailing protégé receiving a prestigious Gold Award, he comments: “They were delighted as well, it’s a great achievement. It’s a very tough environment out there for retail so everybody’s working very hard, and then to actually get the recognition from winning the award is very rewarding.”

Looking towards the future, the enthusiastic retailer plans to continue in the same successful vein. “We’ll work on building on what we’ve achieved over the last two years. The customer numbers are going up all the time, so it’s just a matter of keeping the customers happy, giving them what they want, and having the range they need.”



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