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Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month: Wilderhaugh Service Station Galashiels, Scottish Borders
10 October, 2019

Location:

On the A72 on the way into Galashiels

Forecourt:

It's a very busy site; there were cars queuing for fuel at the time of my visit. There is a jet wash area (two machines) that was also being well used.

Posters promoting Shell Go and Go+ could be seen across the site.

There are buckets with sponges at the pump islands, which was a nice touch.

There is a Shell anti bacterial wet wipes dispenser/bin but I presumed it was empty as it was sited well away from the main forecourt area.

There are loads of bags of burning peat, fuel logs and house coal outside the shop. Hanging baskets and potted trees made the forecourt look more attractive.

Shop:

The shop sports the Spar fascia and also on the outside there is a panel with photos showing the site across the years.

Once inside, you are faced with a very well-stocked convenience store. There was a small selection of fruit basically bags of apples and bananas on a stand. However one of the bags contained very brown bananas.

There is a Costa Express machine, which looked well used. Next to it is a kettle and a microwave as well as lots of cereal and protein bars.

There is a wide range of chilled soft drinks including a lot of Barr and Irn-Bru, as one would expect in Scotland. However one of the doors was missing off the chiller. Irn-Bru Energy also appeared in an off-shelf display.

There is a good selection of chilled beer, wine and cider.

There is also a good chilled range but I couldn't see any sign of a meal deal.

There is a Fulfil freestanding display unit (full) but also a My Protein one which was nearly empty. There are some empty crates and cardboard boxes lying around on the shopfloor.

The car care section is impressive with a wide range of oils, cleaning products and accessories.

The Spar mats that lead to the till needed a deep clean.

There are a lot of products around the till including Yankee Candles and lots of big boxes of Surf washing powder.

At the counter, there is a hot savouries unit, which was empty but there were also plastic containers of Hunters the Bakers treats such as Toffee Tiffen Slices.

While in the shop, I bought an Oreo Sandwich ice cream. Once I got back to the car, I started to eat it but the biscuit tasted stale. I looked at the wrapper and the sell-by date was April 2018! I took it back into the store and the man at the counter was mortified. He checked the freezer and, thankfully, mine was the only one that was out of date. He quickly gave me a fresh ice cream.

There is a customer toilet.

Prognosis:

The site is owned by Adam Purves (Galashiels), which has been trading since 1879 when it began as a blacksmiths.

Diagnosis:

Like every other site in the land, Wilderhaugh has faced increasing competition from the supermarkets at one point it lost 40% of its fuel sales.

However, a 'plan of attack' was implemented focusing on customer service and promotions and this worked in building sales back up.

Prescription:

The site is very busy, which is great but can mean things look a little 'tired' in a relatively short space of time.

For example, it's great that they have a customer toilet but the room could definitely do with a mini-makeover ie a coat of fresh paint and new flooring. That Spar mat needs either cleaning or replacing too.

There probably needs to be a little bit more attention to detail on the shopfloor eg removing over-ripe bananas and replacing that missing chiller door.

They also need to consider a meal deal.

The incident with the ice cream was just very unfortunate and the chap who served me was very sorry so I was satisfied with the outcome.


Following a deal agreed with Harvest Energy, do you think it will be good to see the Total brand returning to UK forecourts?