Morrisons has unveiled its first ‘food market court’ in the latest of its store overhauls.

The takeaway eats and café hall, in the Wood Green branch in north London, is designed to cater for demand for food-to-go in a high-footfall location. It is one of several changes made at the store that demonstrate the grocer’s latest thinking on the supermarket format.

The 8,000 sq ft court was formerly an arcade leading into the main store, and was home to offices and a photo processing shop as well as an old-style café.

Now enclosed behind an attention-grabbing glass frontage on to the street, the food-to-go area has a florist, a new Market Street café and the Barista Bar coffee shop running down one side, while on the other are grab-and-go food options including sandwiches and dedicated oven-fresh pizza and create-your-own salad stations, with bakery items situated mid-aisle.

Wood Green is one of Morrisons’ highest footfall shops, serving around 50,000 customers a week, and high local demand for food on the move led to the creation of the court.

Other than at the café counters, the court is entirely self-checkout, though shoppers can also choose to go into the main shop to pay at a staffed till if they prefer.

‘Designed by customers’

Inside the main shop – the branch is 25,000 sq ft altogether – one of the most significant changes is the removal of the cross aisle that previously bisected it.

That has allowed Morrisons to fulfil another local demand, for more of its general merchandise range, by releasing space – about 50 bays – for lines such as Nutmeg clothing and homewares, enabling it to better show off own-brand assortments such as The Best pots and pans.

New-look butchers and fishmongers have been introduced, designed to create a market feel and showcase Morrisons’ capabilities in ’food making’ as well as retailing – shoppers can see fish and meat being freshly prepared behind the counters.

Reflecting the high footfall and smaller basket typical of local customers’ shopping trips, the tills area has been reconfigured, including the provision of card-only self-checkout to make payment speedier.

Environmental initiatives include trolleys made of recycled rubber and reverse vending machines – members of the More loyalty scheme receive points when they use the service.

Property director Andy Newton said the branch epitomised how Morrisons’ remodelled stores reflect the particularities of the communities in which they operate.

“You’d see something different in every store,” he said. “In a sense, it’s designed by customers.”