Great Scot! What retailers can learn from ScotFresh’s Shaun Marwaha


In 1981, family-owned business Jacks Premier had just one store. Thirty years and eight stores later, the Marwaha’s have rebranded under the Scotfresh fascia and plan to open 15 new stores this year.

Shaun Marwaha, son and managing director of the Glasgow-based company, revealed at Him! Research & Consulting’s Convenience Tracking Programme launch yesterday, the lessons from his family and his plans for the future. So what did he decide to confess?

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go

The school of life or an education from the shop floor is the most important thing for running a shop, some might say. Looking around the retail environment it’s easy to see that for many small business owners this is true – they’ve learned the family business from the ground up. But Marwaha felt that he needed a university education to make his family’s business as profitable as possible and studied Management & Finance at Strathclyde University. “I knew I had to learn about all the areas of business,” he says. “I now want us to be a major convenience store player in the Scottish and UK market.”

Admit it. You’re nothing new.

It’s surprising to hear a young businessman say he’s not creating anything original. “We aren’t doing anything new, retailers have created their own fascia before and have been successful,” he says. But it’s not about creating anything new, he said it’s about knowing your customers and delivering the best service to them. He currently works with local suppliers and plans to open kitchens in all of his stores to offer affordable and good-quality food to go.

Communication is the real work of leadership

It’s no secret that good communication is a main trait of a great leader. But what if leaders need to communicate to each other? Marwaha’s answer: What’sApp. The free mobile application is downloaded on all of Marwaha’s store managers’ phones so they can learn from each other and help manage the 120 staff members.

Keep targets simple

Aiming to upsell or add a secondary purchase to one in 10 customer baskets might not sound a lot but it all adds up. He explains, “We have 50,000 customers’ stores per week so that extra purchase, no matter how small, amounts to quite some serious profit.”


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