Advice for retailers from our Retailer Advisory Panel.
Convenience Retailing has always been part of my life. At the age of 11, I took my first job working in my father’s store and I’ve been hooked ever since - along with my two brothers, we now own and run three successful stores. Our stores have won numerous awards over the years which we are really proud of, including Community Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards, the Asian Trader Awards and the IAAs amongst others.
One aspect of the retail industry I love is the constant evolution – things are always changing and in order to thrive, you must evolve with it. And being able to have that personal touch is what separates Convenience Stores from the multiples – we really are a community store. We regularly review our stores and work closely with our customers to make sure that we offer them what they want by running quarterly customer panels. But its not just the personal touch in-store that’s important but how you give back to the community. We run a lot of community events, sponsor the local football team and donate money to help local charities. Being part of the community and giving back to them is at the heart of our store’s ethos – we are #communitydriven.
We also use Social Media to engage and communicate with our customers and with over 14,000 Facebook followers and 5,000 Twitter followers, it’s not only a great tool for both personal and community driven messages but also to share the many deals and promotions we run. And to make the most of the network we’ve built, we’ve launched an APP with a delivery and click & collect service for those who live slightly further afield – it’s a great way to broaden our customer base.
Even after more than 20 years I still love the customer interaction, taking pride in providing great customer satisfaction and of course being my own boss. I think that convenience retailing will get increasingly competitive, and retailers need to move with the times. There is no room for error now, as the big boys are moving on to our patches and trying to clean up. Let's fight fire with fire!