Posted: 13/02/2019

Delilah to focus on Nottingham shop after closing loss-making Leicester site

Delilah Fine Foods will be putting its recently closed Leicester outlet to alternative use, and its owners will instead concentrate all their efforts on further improving its flourishing Nottingham shop.

The East Midlands retailer shut its shop in the St Martins area of Leicester at the beginning of January after two-and-a-half years of trading, citing unsustainable losses.

Sangita Tryner, who runs the business with husband Richard, said she is not entirely certain why the newer branch did not succeed but she has a good idea. 

Although research before opening showed a more affluent demographic across the county of Leicestershire, Tryner said that the shop was slightly outside the city’s main footfall zone.

It appears to have been used predominantly by workers during breaks. 

“We were really busy at lunchtime but that doesn’t make a business and we found that most of the turnover happened then. We didn’t get the morning trade that we get in Nottingham, or the late afternoon trade.”

“They are allegedly building 6,000 flats in Leicester city centre now so maybe we were just too early. To be honest, there’s better and easier ways to make your money now.”

Tryner said that the business owned the freehold of the Leicester building – a Grade II-listed former bank – which includes three flats as well as the retail unit.

“The flats cover all our costs so we will bide our time and see what we want to put in the bottom unit,” she told FFD. “We will probably make more money from it as a property investment.”

Delilah’s only other branch, in Nottingham, is still thriving with Tryner reporting Christmas sales increasing up 2% year-on-year and internet sales up 14%.

Tryner is now putting all her focus on Nottingham. She plans to extend opening hours to Friday and Saturday evenings to make the most of the 70-cover food bar and café.

She said that she would spend the next six months adjusting Delilah’s concept for the changing market, adding that there was still more to develop in the business. 

“I think we need to come back home and regroup. I’ve got to redo the website. 

“At the moment, we only sell hampers on there.”

Tryner is also looking into the possibility of setting up Midlands clubs for wine, beer and cheese afficianados.

This story appeared in the January/February issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

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