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The redesigned counter units, developed by merchandising display firm Kesslers International, were installed by in-store specialists CJ Services following a detailed survey of the retailers' estate, and are a key element in Martin McColl's store modernisation programme.

Martin McColl trading director, Tony Start, said: "Our counter refit programme is a key element in our long-term commitment to creating an engaging in-store environment that not only maximises the opportunities for impulse purchases but also aids the shopping experience."

Consultative support delivered by CJ Services to Martin McColl, supporting brands and Kesslers on installation related issues, from the outset of the project, helped to deliver significant process improvements and a highly efficient rollout programme that saw two stores a day being completed by CJ Services' team of fitters and electricians. Over 500 counters were installed as part of the first phase of the rollout. The second phase of the rollout programme is scheduled for completion shortly.

Commenting on the project James Kennaugh, head of client service for CJ Services said: "A project of this scale presents some unique logistical challenges. Our strong collaborative approach with display producers, such as Kesslers International, is crucial to ensure that all projects of this size are completed on time and with minimum disruption to the in-store environment - an essential consideration for retailers such as Martin McColl."

The modular counter system, which was produced using a mix of materials including wood, metal and acrylic, was designed to deliver a cost effective solution that offers total flexibility across the existing diverse Martin McColl estate and possible future new stores. It also successfully combines the need for ease-of-use by staff and visual customer appeal - the chosen colour scheme being designed to make the product the �hero' attraction, rather than the counter units.

Graham Thorpe, account director for Kesslers added: "The modularity of the counter system allowed all counter lengths from 1m to 6m to be installed. The design allows various combinations of counter top fixtures to be fitted satisfying the Martin McColl requirement of having more product coverage at the front of the store; future technology updates also needed to be considered. Our close working relationship with CJ Services will be crucial to the success of the roll out."

Martin McColl is one of the UK's largest chains of Newsagents with over 900 stores as well as an additional 300 convenience stores and more than 100 High Street stores.


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