October 29, 2021 4.34 pm

Birchwood Spar shop reopens after £180k refurb

After a month-long closure it’s back

The Spar shop in Birchwood was reopened on Friday by a long-serving employee after a month-long closure and around £180,000 of investment.

The store in Woodfield Avenue is franchise run by the Hickson family, who have two Spar stores with Subways elsewhere in the city and employ around sixty staff. New jobs for around four staff will be created in the future.

The longest-serving employee in Birchwood – Annie Smith – has worked at the store for 38 years and is well known on the estate. She was chosen to cut the ribbon when the store officially reopened at 10am on Friday, October 29.

Inside the revamped shop. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Annie Smith has worked at the store for nearly four decades. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Franchise owner Philip Hickson told The Lincolnite that they took over the unit next door, which was formerly occupied by Caldo’s pizza who have relocated. The unit was knocked through to give an extra 800 square feet of selling space, new office and toilets for the team.

A new tiled floor, lighting and refrigerators, and shelving has been added, as well as the latest Costa coffee and tango ice blasts machines. There is also a new hot food and food-to-go area.

Using the extra space, a post office facility has also been added at the store.

The shop now has the latest Costa coffee and tango ice blasts machines. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Hickson family have been a member of Spar Retail Group for 46 years, with Phil starting his first store in North Hykeham when he was just 18-years-old. Around 18 years ago he took over the Birchwood store which he purchased as a wedding present for his wife.

They also own the Spar/Shell garage on the corner of Birchwood Avenue and Skellinghtorpe Road, as well as a Spar on Newark Road in North Hykeham.

Phil Hickson is the owner of the Spar franchise on Woodfield Avenue in Birchwood. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Philip, 54, said: “My wife and I still work full-time in the business and we have built a great team over the years and are lucky to have a very committed group of people at all our stores.

“The opening went really well and we look forward to welcoming more customers in.”

Spar is located on Woodfield Avenue in Birchwood, Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Franchise owner Philip Hickson pictured with Stacey Southwell, who runs the Sophie’s Journey charity. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

On the opening day, local charity Sophie’s Journey was presented with a cheque for £400. Sophie’s Journey was set up by the parents of Lincoln girl Sophie Robinson, who died in January 2016, aged 12, after a two-year battle with medulloblastoma – an aggressive tumour in her brain.

Using two dedicated caravans in Mablethorpe, the charity provides free holidays for Lincolnshire children living with cancer, and their families.

See the rest of our gallery below:

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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