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Tue 30th Sep 2014 - Welcome Break to invest £8m after food sales success
Welcome Break to invest £8m after food sales success: Welcome Break is to spend £8m rolling out a new look at its motorway service stations after the first site with the “next generation” format, at Birchanger Green in Essex, saw a 15% year-on-year increase in sales. The site, on the M11 near Stansted, has a £1.2m makeover to create was Welcome Break said was an open, more welcoming environment, with the use of large glass windows and a triangular glass roof which lets in large amounts of natural light, new seating and a multi-screen video wall. The site, which originally opened in 1995, now features a premium food court with brands such as Tossed, Starbucks, Papa Johns, Waitrose and Subway alongside Burger King and KFC. Visitor numbers increase by more than 2,000 vehicles in the month after the revamped site’s opening, and Welcome Break saw a 20% rise in business at its new food courts and like-for-like non-fuel sales growth of around 10% across all sites. Rod McKie, chief executive of Welcome Break, said: “We see Birchanger Green as the future of the motorway service station and are thrilled with its success so far. It offers a far more relaxed, comfortable environment, with a host of great brands for the customer to enjoy, and the growth in sales demonstrates this is what the customer wants. We’re now in the process of rolling this out to other Welcome Break sites and plan for these to be similarly successful.” A revamp of the Oxford services on the M40 is now complete, with the new line up of brands and design features in place, and South Mimms, on the M25 in Hertfordshire, is next on the list. More than £8m has already been set aside for this project for 2015. Welcome Break runs almost 30 service stations across the UK.
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