A store opened in the Cotswolds last October by Midcounties Co-op has already been named the best in England, and one of Europe’s finest, by industry experts IGD.
The Bourton-on-the-Water store, the result of a £4.9m investment by the society, is the only supermarket in England to make it into the grocery researcher’s ‘Top 14 Stores to See in Europe’ report.
The eco-friendly store on Station Road was selected for its focus on sourcing local produce, which the report highlighted this as one way to create “a compelling point of difference for smaller retailers needing to stand out from larger competitors”.
The store’s Best of Our Counties range showcases more than 800 products from suppliers in Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties. It features rare-breed meat from Todenham Manor Farm in Moreton-in-Marsh, honey-based spirits from The British Honey Company and a variety of beers and ales from local breweries.
The report praised in-store cooking demonstrations that celebrate seasonal dishes and local ingredients and described the unique products available on the delicatessen counter as a “major draw for customers”.
Experts also highlighted the TV showing local supplier stories as a stand-out feature and said that the store’s premium feel, created by the high-quality fit out, made for an “inspiring environment for shoppers”.
Phil Ponsonby, chief executive (trading) at Midcounties, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our Bourton Food store, especially considering we only opened last year. It’s an honour to be featured on IGD’s list alongside some outstanding stores across Europe.
“The Best of Our Counties range is all about celebrating the food and drink available in our communities and supporting the talented local suppliers behind the products. It’s great to hear that organisations like IGD appreciate this initiative and value local produce as much as we do.”