With the massive changes in our market, it would be tough to predict what our industry may look like in six months, yet we as a business are making predictions for 2028.
We call it ‘future generation retailing’, it’s about looking at the overarching trends and building a path for our stores to what we think convenience should be in 10 years. It’s not about always being right but being always ready.
It’s important as identifying trends is only one half of the equation, the timing is the other half. Instead of trying to be where the market will be, it’s trying to shape the market to where you want to be.
A large part of this is accepting that not everything will work. You might try 10, 20 even 100 projects but as long as you have a plan B, you’ve analysed the feasibility and you know the risks it is the right thing to do.
This is because in a rapidly changing market it’s not good enough to be a bog-standard convenience store. If you are resting on your laurels now you are going to struggle.
The industry is moving faster and we are losing brilliant big businesses ran by highly-experienced teams. If it can happen to them, it can happen to us.
I think Mital Morar’s Ancoats General Store in Manchester is a great example of future generation retailing.
He’s experimenting with what a convenience store can be, but in a way that focuses on his vision for a social space.
I know that his store is ready for market trends because a multiple would think twice before opening next door.
They know that his store is ahead of anything their model can offer and as a result, it will be Mital’s store that his customers chose.
It can be intimidating looking at these super trendy stores, and it is easy to write it off saying that it isn’t relevant to your audience, but the lesson to take is that success is built on passion and planning no matter what that looks like in store. What are you doing to ensure your future?
– Harris Aslam owns five independent convenience stores in and around Fife
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