Bay Bashir, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, reveals how he is planning to make more from fresh & chilled and technology.

Three weeks ago, we began partnering with Zapper. We’re still in the process of getting people signed up, but the initial response has been incredible.

The app allows us to see spending habits and trends, as well as the people who haven’t been in for a while. We’re then able to send them personalised offers to try to bring them back.

To get shoppers on board they’ve had discounts off their first two shops. But the most important thing is to get your staff to understand it. If they’re not telling shoppers about it then you’re paying money for nothing.

Staff are so important and it’s why I invest so much money in them. With the living wage increases, we’ve had to make sure that our staff are really earning that extra money. The more I invest, the more I see it’s the right thing to do.

It can be a gamble, sometimes staff leave quickly after training, but that’s just part of running the business. You won’t get away from that, but it’s a good investment when you look at your whole workforce.

We’ve got a competition for our staff to see who can get the most people to sign up to Zapper and I give away a free drink to them for everyone who does. You’ve got to make your shop a fun place to work.

Aside from Zapper, I’m planning to refit my store to get more into fresh & chilled. I’ve had a really good conversation with Nisa and it looks like that’s the right model for me. I know we need to do more fresh and chilled, but I’m not afraid to say I need help to learn how to do it. It looks to be a very exciting second half of the year for us.