Location: Edgware, London

Key categories: Newspapers, confectionery

Size: 800sq ft

Average basket: £3

My business is primarily a newsagents selling traditional categories like confectionery, tobacco, news, greetings cards and stationery, but in the last year my wife and I have added to this by introducing a small-scale off-licence and basic groceries like bread and milk.

We serve an affluent area and our main business is HND, but we decided to make these changes because we know news, along with tobacco, is a declining market and we’re also facing increased competition in categories such as greetings cards.

We benefit from having great customer service as our unique selling point. Outside the store local people know about us through our HND service and we’ve built our standing in the community still further by holding raffles for charities and leafleting for good causes to help promote their events. In store, we pride ourselves on listening to customers and sourcing products they want to buy. We’ve chosen to remain unaffiliated, so I always read the trade press to learn about launches and what might fit our store. Our relationships with reps are also important. I see them as partners, and this year I’ve been working with suppliers such as Walkers and Cadbury to tweak parts of the business and improve my planograms. Through this, I’ve improved my range and merchandising.

To grow my business further I’d like to expand fully from a CTN into a convenience store this year. I’ve been talking to operators at trade shows and I think the way forward is a confident range of alcohol, a good spread of soft drinks and a food to go range, looking at both lunchtime trade and meal-for-tonight customers, with meal deals included within that.