One Stop is to bet on technology instead of trends such as food to go or chilled to fuel its growth over the next year.

Speaking exclusively to RN, One Stop’s head of franchise, John Miller, said the decision was based on helping retailers to become more efficient and reduce cost pressures. “A lot of wholesalers talk about the ‘sexy’ trends such as chilled and food to go, but we’re not into that,” he said. 

“The big trend we see is technology, such as artificial intelligence. It’s about having technology to help retailers create a better shopping experience for their customers and make them fit for the future.”

He said technology would help reduce rising cost pressures such as business rates. “One Stop will be introducing a new EPoS system in the coming weeks for its stores, It will be Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled, while also offering handheld functionality. If one store updates the pricing on the till, the same information will be updated across all the other stores in a nanosecond,” he added.

The system will be trialled in One Stop’s company-owned stores before being rolled out to franchises over the year. There are more than 850 One Stop stores, with more than 175 franchised.

Miller said the company’s stock ordering model could also help give retailers more time to manage their stores.

“To determine which stock goes into franchisee stores we use a model based on the selling patterns of our company shops,” he said. “The best-sellers in certain regions across a range of stores are examined and this helps us decide what might sell well in another shop. 

“It gives the retailers more free time to focus on managing other areas of their shop.” 

Read similar: Blakemore teases 'scan & go' technology at Spar Retail Show