Once again this year Retail Newsagent has spoken to many independent retailers in their stores across the country.
Looking back over 2014, here are some key quotes, tips and advice that retailers have shared in RN’s retailer profiles.
Running one of Marks & Spencer’s first food-only stores set me up for a life in retail. I was one of the first to get a Post Office Local counter, I’ve cut my electricity bills by a third and I’m the fourth emergency service to my village.
Nisa Local, Crawcrook, Tyne-and-Wear
School kids buy 120 lollies from me every lunchtime and customers can’t get enough of my American Lucky Charms. I also use my weekly supermarket trip to mystery shop my rivals.
Crown Wood Londis, Bracknell, Berkshire
Last year I converted a c-store into a £1.5m turnover business. This year I’m running a new store. I’ve already doubled it in size to focus on chilled lines, food to go and bake-off.
Nisa Local, Chatham, Kent
I knew my three newsagents couldn’t compete without a niche so I focus on services. I have PayPoint, the Lottery, Collect+ and a reputation for my specialist loose tobacco.
NC News, Colchester, Essex
I was voted Come Shop With Me 2014 champion for my Subway franchise, fresh range, high quality local food and beer and overall high store standards.
Simply Fresh, Faversham, Kent
I used Twitter to save my business. When roadworks left me trading from a temporary shipping container it helped me link up with suppliers. Today, I use it to connect with my community and promote my specialist magazines and e-cigs.
The Newsagent, Newport
I’ve got customers in a spin with my new car park laundrette. It’s been in the national press and is just one thing I’m using to compete with a 24-hour Tesco.
Kuldeep Singh Lalli
Southglade Convenience Store, Nottingham
My customers were tempted by the discounters so I created my own fascia to fight back. It couples CTN lines with non-food products and my secret weapon is the speed I can deliver deals.
Better Buy Local, Chard, Somerset
When the recession bit, I transformed my layout to make it more customer friendly. With categories clearly marked and logically placed, turnover increased by half in three years.
Parans Minimarket, Rothwell, Leeds
Our shop may be a 500ft Tardis, but it’s flourishing. We sell the best sausages in Britain and, because we listened to customers, do a massive trade in local craft beers too.
Key News & Stores, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Thanks to our healthy eating event, local mums know it’s cheaper to make macaroni cheese with our fresh ingredients than to buy it in a tin. If we sell sugary sweets, we’ve got a responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles too.
Dennis & Linda Williams
Premier Broadway, Broadway, Edinburgh
My sales plummeted when Co-op opened up nearby, but Today’s’ and Nisa’s range and layout advice helped me turn things around – so much so that I was crowned Today’s Symbol Group Retailer of the Year.
Today’s Local, Broughton, North Lincs
Read the full feature in the final issue of Retail Newsagent of 2014.