Just before Christmas, a trip to a store in Leicester revealed what is, in today's climate, a curiosity.

Here was a medium-sized shop brimful of customers and hardly a reduction in sight. Among the many merchandise areas, there was a Christmas shop, a DIY department - there was even a pet food aisle. In short, a mishmash of products somehow managing to attract large numbers of shoppers, almost none of whom were exiting without making a purchase.

These are the kind of conversion rates that most retailers, with the exception of the supermarkets, can only dream of - and all of this in a store set in a distinctly off-pitch location.

If you want to know the name of the shop, scan down and all is revealed in the last few words. But for those of you who can bear to keep going, it's worth noting some of the details of this retail phenomenon. Externally, the store has a very bold white-on-red logo and inside, there is a bank of tills, all with queues at them and all up and running. There is even an express till, where transactions seem to be being undertaken a furious pace.

Venture deeper into the shop and it becomes evident that in spite of the tricky L-shaped footprint, getting customers to the deepest recesses has not proved too much of a problem. This must in part be to do with the fact that although prices in every department are remarkably cheap and most of the offer is branded rather than private label, there is simple but effective colour-coded signage whisking shoppers around the space.

There is nothing remotely fancy about the navigation system or indeed the store interior and if it's design with its heart on its sleeve that you're looking for, go somewhere else. What this shop does do is make shopping straightforward, presenting the stock in a palatable fashion with prices that it would be churlish to ignore.

Now comes the obvious bit. If Woolworths had looked more closely at what this retailer has been doing, it might not have the closed signs over its doors. This is a format where the design is about making things work for shoppers from every angle. It's a trial store, one of three at the moment, but it seems likely that its ilk will be appearing in other branches of this very large chain.

And its name? Wilkinson. What else could it be?