Independent family store embraces future with retailing first

Gurjeet Kaur Bains at Axe News

Gurjeet Kaur Bains and her family are branching out at Axe News - Credit: Barrie Hedges

At a time when major supermarkets are still dipping their toes into the concept of product refill stations to avoid excess plastic packaging, a small family-owned Axminster store has boldly taken a big jump into the future.
The Axe News newsagents and general store in West Street has invested in a bank of zero waste self-serve stations where customers can load their own containers (or supplied paper bags) with products like pasta, pulses nuts, seeds, flour and sugar. And what’s more, Gurjeet Kaur Bains and her family have plans to stock hand washes, shampoo, conditioners, a baby product range and even oat chocolate.
Installation of the refill stations marks the achievement of a long-held business ambition for Gurjeet who moved the business into its current premises after previously operating the neighbouring Axminster Post Office. 
 “When we moved here we found ourselves with a lot more space, so we asked people what they would like to see and this came very high on the list,” says Gurjeet. “I did a lot of research and then along came the pandemic and everything had to be delayed. In going ahead now, we are applying strict hygiene measures with hand sanitiser available.
“We see it as a very important option to be able to offer in Axminster because there is no doubt that we all need to be a lot more conscious about what we are doing to the planet generally, and reducing consumption of needless plastic and food waste are ways in which we can all contribute. The early reaction from our customers has been very positive and we will certainly be extending our range.”
The refill stations allow customers to access as little or as much of a product as they wish into their own containers or into paper bags for individual weighing at the till.

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