Taking time to reflect on the progress made in 2023 and the exciting plans ahead for 2024
Our reputation as experts in our field – namely, retail experts for London – has seen us in 2o23 working with more boroughs across the capital, as well as City Hall. We are expanding our learning rapidly, as each London borough brings new challenges and opportunities to develop our knowledge and apply our expertise.
Highlights for us include:
The successful development of a place-making strategy with Greenwich Council, working in the Thamesmead School Superzones. We have created a partnership approach with The Peabody Housing Trust, local economy, EHOs and Thamesmead School Superzone Leads, taking a holistic approach to the area where two local convenience stores trade. We are excited to be part of a partnership to identify a long-term, far reaching strategy to improve the access to affordable healthier options. Our role has been to support the two retailers with a strategic plan to improve their shops through range, merchandising and promotional support. Building on our previous work in 2019 with the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, we have now developed a place-making strategy in Chelsea Riverside that involves bringing a new market stall to the area whilst also supporting the existing convenience store with a new storage facility: this will allow them to buy fresh produce and healthier options in bulk and therefore permit them to sell more affordably to their local customers. In Newham Council, we helped the team understand the value of their local independent retailers and engaged with four convenience store owners across Custom House and Royal Docks; our work saw a 35% increase in sales of their healthier options.
Building for the future
Investing in people with a passion to help
Alongside extending the reach and planning future phases of our projects and programmes, we have been growing our team of expertise to make sure we have the right people in place to deliver our work. Bringing in operational and retail experts as well as mentoring newly graduated associates, we are already seeing the benefits of bringing a new and experienced team together. We all understand what we do is about people and for people, and, as a team, we are focused on the challenges around improving health and reducing food poverty. What excites us now is, thanks to our partnership with Impact on Urban Health, we have a real opportunity to be able to do something about it practically. Find out about our growing team here.
Updates from our other projects
Accessible Foods for African and Afro-Caribbean customers: Working in partnership with Impact On Urban Health (IOUH), we have spent the last 6 months understanding the needs and shopping habits of African and Afro-Caribbean customers who make up a large part of the local populations of the areas in which we work. From this learning, we will be in a position to offer an African Eat-well range which we will use as the basis of support for engaging specialist African and Afro-Caribbean stores. This would not have been possible without the support of our cultural advisor, Nureen Glaves, who has steered our learning in this area. We have identified a number of specialist stores that are run by African/Afro-Caribbean owners and we are working with them to understand the opportunities and challenges that they face and build a package of support that is both relevant and practical. Impact on Urban Health - Growing the influence: We were delighted to meet a delegation from UNICEF China in October who came to London on a fact-finding mission to see how other countries are tackling the rise in childhood obesity. We were asked by The Food Foundation to showcase the Good Food Retail project where our work with convenience stores is highly relevant to their place-making strategies. We shared our use of the Nutrient Profiling Model and the Healthier 100 framework along with insight into Healthy Start.
Many thanks to The Food Foundation for the introduction and to Bestway Wholesale for helping set up the visit to Costcutter Southampton Way. It was great to see displays of healthier options for customers. GLA Convenience: We had a great session with the Lynked up Crew in October understanding children’s purchasing behaviours in convenience stores and how to help them understand what a healthier option is and what they would like to see improved to help them make healthier choices when buying products. Thank you to the GLA Peer Outreach team for inviting us to meet such incredible children who have given us a to do list for working with the industry. We are so excited to be working with the outstanding researcher and friend Victoria Wood again, after all these years from our Budgens days together. Lambeth: We were out and about in Brixton Hill and Oval Superzones as part of our delivery work of the GLA Convenience Stores Project. We are supporting retailers to increase their ranges of healthier options engaging with Healthy Start by displaying stickers that show they accept the new pre-paid card. This supports the great work done by the ACS to raise the profile of this important help for low-income families. It’s great to see new healthier products appearing in store.