Paul Stone’s four stores in Manchester will turn over £14m this year. But, as Steven Lambert discovered, now is not the time for the entrepreneurial retailer to put his feet up and with a fifth store waiting in the wings he won’t be

Having moved to Manchester in the 1990s, Paul Stone quickly realised that the area was crying out for a decent convenience retail offering.

“I went to university in Manchester to do a management science degree and then went to work with my parents, who have been with Spar since the ‘70s in Yorkshire, so retailing has always been in my blood. When I came back to Manchester, there was nowhere around in the city centre where you could pick up a loaf of bread or a pint of milk after 6pm. So it was clear to me there was a big opportunity for a convenience store.”