It's not often that an outfit like a co-op would merit inclusion as a store where design is one of its central selling points, but this Southern Co-op outpost is at least as good as any food to go meets convenience store that's out there.

With a footprint that's a shade under 2,000 sq ft (185 sq m) and an interior created by East Sussex-based consultancy CDW Partners, the branch on Southampton's London Road was converted from a rather tired old-style store to its gleaming new self in early December.

The principal difference in this store is that the bulk of the front half of the interior is devoted to a counter where coffees, light meals and snacks can be bought - a far cry from the normal till point(s) associated with the retailer.

The counter itself has been clad with a stripy wood called Zebrano, giving a smart upscale appearance that has been enhanced by the use of grey striped floor tiles.

An in-store division between the food to go area and the top-up shop at the rear has been created by using two curved ceiling rafts, making finding what you want more straightforward than might normally be the case.

It's also worth noting the graphics. A number of references are made to Southern Co-op's green credentials, but instead of a preachy “we're saving the planet” tone of voice, humour has been injected into the photography, meaning that the message remains but without a clunking eco-fist.

The store is a trial for the retailer, but once the format has been value engineered it is easy to see how this fit-out could quickly be taken to other stores.