How this duo transformed a rundown shop in Grimsby: slushies, coffee, more stock and deliveries

Two months ago, this Grimsby shop had hardly anything in it, but Onkar and Aman invested in a £75,000 refit, teaming up with Parfetts’ Go Local Extra fascia

Location: Keelby, Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Hours: 6am-9pm Mon-Sat, 7.30am-9pm Sun

Staff: Three and looking to recruit three more

Size: 1,100sq ft

Trading since: April 2017

Two months ago, this Grimsby shop had hardly anything in it, but Onkar and Aman saw the run-down unit as a sales opportunity.

By investing in a £75,000 refit, teaming up with Parfetts’ Go Local Extra fascia and marketing the changes to customers, the duo have turned around the store’s sales performance and its role in the community.

Aman explains: “The only thing here used to be empty shelves, old stock and newspapers. People used to call it the paper shop, so a lot of what we’ve been doing is changing how the local community views the store.”

The new owners have made the windows transparent and have placed expanded refrigerated units at the front of the shop, which Onkar says was done to show “commitment to supplying everything the community needs”.

The community needs in Keelby greatly differ from their other store in Grimsby town centre. Their new venture sits in a village with a population of 3,000, and a wide catchment of farmers in the surrounding area.

Aman states: “The customer response is completely different in this store. They ask for anything they need and they expect to find it all under one roof.” The requests vary from specific wines and pet food to sewing products, screws and parmesan. Through Parfetts, they get daily deliveries with under a day’s lead time, so the shop can quickly meet these demands.

An example of this is pet supplies, which currently includes 70-plus lines, and according to Onkar, there’s still untapped potential in the category. “Even with our range it’s not big enough, we need more stock,” he says.

Onkar and Aman feel availability and range strongly correlates to revenue, so they carry out frequent shelf checks and refilling to maintain consistent displays. The approach is working according to Aman who says: “When we put more stock in the sales just rocketed.”

It’s early days for the store, but sales have already gone from £5,000 to £10,000 per week.

They are keen to experiment with new additions to the retail mix, having already added a slush machine, which is achieving 70 sales per day. “It’s an incredible level of sales. Kids love it, they’ll come in and get one and come back with their parents and they’ll get one too,” says Aman.

Also in the pipeline is hot food to go and coffee units, and an order delivery service to reach out to the farmers within and beyond their catchment area.

For many owners, the step change from managing one store to multiple stores can be difficult, but Aman and Onkar’s experience juggling two young children and the first shop has already given them the most important skill for multiple premises owners: delegation.

As Onkar summarises: “We’re not just running stores, we’re managing a business now.”

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