Business remains steady and Christmas is coming up, so we’ll see what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

We don’t know yet if customers will be going to the supermarkets for big shops or staying local.

Business as a whole in 2015 has been a lot better than it was last year, everything feels a bit more optimistic and sales have been more steady. Last year was up and down. We’ve had a cash machine put in, which I think has helped a lot too. It means we’re getting more regular customers.

The main thing I’ve learnt from my business this year is that you don’t have to compete with the supermarkets to do well. Everyone expects us to compete with them on price and availability, but it’s a completely different ball game. We should stick to what we know, that’s the best way to go.

For me, 2016 is going to be a big year, I’ll be graduating from university in June and we’ll see what direction I go in. I definitely want to stay around the retail environment. I hope maybe to get into business with another shop, but I need to find one first!

This is where I want to be, it’s what I enjoy. It’s a real challenge, and the hours are long, but I love it.

Learn more about Sohail’s store in 2016 in the Retail Express retailer profile.