Ramesh Shingadia's Store Refit

Follow Ramesh Shingadia on his journey to refit his convenience store!


So...he finally got there!

Londis retailer Ramesh Shingadia of Southwater, West Sussex, one of Partners for Growth’s Retailer Advisory Panel, officially unveiled his new look store on Saturday 26 April 2014.


ramesh-southwater_staff.jpgThe ‘do’ attracted a huge crowd from the local community, including the local MP Francis Maude and the previous Postmaster, and featured door ‘buster deals’, face painting, food and drink tastings, champagne, goody bags and a lot of intrigued customers.


The journey from 1800 sq ft store to 2,400 sq ft village ‘hub’, incorporating the village Post Office, has taken 18-months to plan and carry out and has involved months of upheaval, including a four-week shutdown and lots of hard work from lots of people.

The Scale and Scope of it

The store has had a complete revamp, with the plan based around customers’ key shopper missions. Ramesh was always keen that his store layout reflected this and asked the Unilever Partners for Growth team to help with the layout and look and feel of his store, to ensure the best overall shopper experience for his customers.

Ramesh managed the whole refit process himself, and in addition to help from Unilever’s experts, Ramesh also worked closely with Musgrave stores, architects, structural engineers, builders, plumbers and countless other tradesmen, CCTV and fire alarm suppliers, bank managers and the local parish council, and not forgetting staff and customers.

He uncovered issues – including problems with the cellar and rotten floorboards – and gained various learning’s on the way. The importance of getting staff and customers on board, the need to keep them informed and the benefits of using the store’s existing assets are just a few of these. 

'Mission' Accomplished!

ramesh-southwater_interior.jpgBut eventually, it all came together. The front of store is now more open and ‘shopper mission based’, making it much easier for customers to find what they are looking for – and often things they didn’t know they needed.

A new post office counter has launched, and Post office drop off is now available seven days a week.

And the really good news is that Ramesh can already report a 20% like-for-like increase in sales!

The Partners for Growth team are going back in to carry out some more shopper research, to see how shoppers are now shopping the store. We’ll also be talking with some of his customers to see how they think the shop has changed.

You can hear Ramesh talking about the journey and read his weekly diary on the tabs below, and we’ll be updating this once we’ve carried out the shopper tracking.

Introduction to Ramesh's refit!

The reasons behind Ramesh's refit

Where to get advice from?

Find out who Ramesh turned to for advice

Planning the refit

Find out how Ramesh went about planning the refit

Keeping your staff and customers happy!

Keeping his staff and customers informed!

Managing the build

How to manage the build

What advice would you give to retailers?

Ramesh summarises his advice for a successful refit!

Ramesh's 5 Key Tips for a Successful Refit...

  • Plan Plan Plan! Make sure you’ve done your homework and research!
  • Find the right partner in terms of architect, builders and shop fitters
  • Make sure you take your staff on the journey with you
  • Keep your customers informed as to the plans
  • Manage it as much as you can to keep control of the build and finances