Location: Todmorden, West Yorkshire
Key categories: Newspapers, magazines
Annual turnover: £180.000
Weekly news bill: £6,000
I run a small newsagents in the centre of the village in Todmorden where my customers are mainly local people, but also shoppers who visit the flea market on Thursdays and the surrounding area on Saturdays.
We have a lot of competition, so I’ve made my business stand out with specialist newspaper, magazine and stationery ranges.
News is the core of my business, making up 40% of trade. I deliver to 588 customers via HND and sell 48 newspapers, including regional titles like the Craven Herald and Bury Times and international papers like Le Figaro and Le Pais.
I also have an 11 metre magazines display and get customers travelling from Blackburn and Bradford to buy them. To build this range, I work closely with Menzies. I’m the second biggest customer at their Preston depot, so every few months I go through my sales data to see which titles are up and down and go through this with them to get new titles in.
Six years ago, I decided to redevelop my store. I had noticed that while people came here for papers, maga-zines and stationery, they then went to the One Stop a few doors away for the rest of their shopping. I wanted my shop to be more of a one-stop shop so I added £1 products, pet food, bread, soups and other basic groceries.
Sales increased every week for the first two years after that and have stayed steady ever since. I’ve kept that going this year by updating my range with things like Coke Zero, Fanta Zero, protein and sugar-free products, plus products for people with diabetes.
For me, good footfall is vital and is how you drive your shop, so I focus on great customer service – which the big stores can’t match me on.