New lease of life for vacant former supermarket

Coming soon - a new Nisa Local store in Oulton Broad.

Coming soon - a new Nisa Local store in Oulton Broad. - Credit: Mick Howes

A new store is set to be unveiled at the end of this month in a building that has been empty for three-and-a-half years.

And an independent retailer is swapping London for Lowestoft to take the reins at the new Nisa Local store in Oulton Broad.

The exterior of the new Nisa Local store, opening soon.

The exterior of the new Nisa Local store, opening soon. - Credit: Mimar Cantay

Opening its doors on Bridge Road in Oulton Broad on May 31, the former Spar convenience store has been transformed.

With a decade of experience in retail, Mimar Cantay sold his shop in the capital and invested in the vacant building.

Inside the vacant unit, before a new Nisa Local store opens in Oulton Broad.

Inside the vacant unit, before a new Nisa Local store opens in Oulton Broad. - Credit: Mimar Cantay

The new store has undergone a full refurbishment and been fitted out to the latest Nisa Local Evolution format as it is set to be launched this month.

The empty unit has been brought back to life after a complete refit, which includes a new ceiling, flooring, lighting and shelving as well as a Nisa Local fascia to complete the project.

Mr Cantay, who operated his London store entirely independently, said: “Lowestoft is a busy tourism area and I felt I needed a name on my shop.

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"I chose Nisa because of the Co-op link.

"I really like the Co-op products and I think the people living and visiting this area will too.”

A wide Co-op own-brand range will be offered as Mr Cantay plans to work with local suppliers to get their products in store.

Other services available will include coffee and slush machines, freshly cut sandwiches and a hot cabinet serving fresh pastries as well as a free cash machine, Paypoint and the lottery.

Mr Cantay said: “We have a really good atmosphere here and there has been a lot of interest with people waiting for us to open.

“First and foremost I want to get the store open and then my aim is to make it a success and if all goes well, we will be able to move on to a second store.”

With the building forming part of the Oulton Broad district shopping centre, 123 Bridge Road was built in 1900 and had been vacant since the closure of the former Spar supermarket in October 2018.

At the time, there was anger from locals after the national retailer did not renew the Spar store's lease, claiming that footfall had "dramatically decreased."

The Spar store on Bridge Road, Oulton Broad closed in October 2018

The former Spar store on Bridge Road, Oulton Broad closed in October 2018. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The closure of the only convenience store - which included a Post Office branch - in Oulton Broad shocked the community as people said its departure would "affect" the area "considerably".