IN PICS: Ableworld trials community hub store model at its largest outlet

Cafe ableworld llandudno

Ableworld has fitted its largest-ever store with a number of features to make the outlet into a community hub, designed to encourage customers to visit for things other than equipment.

The 6,000 square foot site in Llandudno, North Wales, now has a coffee shop selling drinks and snacks in a first for the company, which is trialling the new ‘community model’.

Community and charity events are being planned for the store. Many of Ableworld’s customers live by themselves and find comfort in visiting the premises for a coffee and a chat. 

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Ableworld’s in-store coffee shop sits side-by-side with products.

It is hoped that the initiative will draw in more clients and create a more loyal customer base who visit the store to meet with others in the community.

Ableworld Llandudno also has an in-house scooter test track area for customers to try equipment before they purchase it. The company says the track has been “a welcome addition” and is used on a regular basis. 

The Llandudno store has a separate ‘specialist’ area designed to cater for customers with specific needs who require more advanced solutions.

The idea of making mobility stores into community hubs is not completely new. A number of dealers have trialled certain initiatives and community events.

Ross Care’s independent living centre model incorporates signposting and information facilities for customers while Derbyshire-based Forever Mobility has its own on-site café.

But Ableworld has invested heavily in its premium café facilities, which offer outside seating, and has brought a host of features together to give the whole store a different feel to usual mobility equipment outlets.  

Striking a balance between offering a community centre and selling products is important. Simplyhealth’s Unlimited Company missed the sweet spot of trying to create a hub but also selling enough product.

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Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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