Alan Fincham, One Stop Franchisee, Attleborough and Tim Handley, Business Development Manager
Alan, tell us a bit more about your store.
I purchased the store around 15 years ago and we made it a very successful newsagent, trading well for a number of years. We gained customers from town, as well as business from around the villages as we grew. We moved to One Stop in 2016 and I now operate a Subway and Post Office within the store.
Why did you choose One Stop?
The main reason for us to move to One Stop was because our town was growing in size and we didn’t want to get left behind. One Stop was the perfect fit to help us become more than just a small convenience store attached to a newsagent. Thanks to much better prices we were able to compete with the big supermarkets, right from the start.
Can you tell us more about the store re-fit with One Stop?
One Stop invested £50,000 into a refit to bring the store up to standard. Once it’s complete, you then have the corporate identity of One Stop above your door and as it’s a large, respected brand, that inevitably drives more customers into store. Our sales increases have been quite significant; customers now have a much larger range to shop from, with better prices and an improved experience.
What changes have you seen since joining One Stop?
Along with sales moving rapidly forward, the huge increase in our grocery range has meant our basket spend has risen considerably too. Margins have also improved, thanks to One Stop’s promotions as well as general margins around the store.
Can you tell us more about One Stop promotions?
The £3 Meal Deal and the 3 for £5 promotion on beer and cider deals really drive footfall. Customers love the Meal Deal and it’s popular throughout the day with people coming in specifically for it every day.
The promotional point of sale from One Stop is amazing!! It arrives at the beginning of the promotion and is tailor-made for each store, so we have exactly what we need. It’s simple and clear, with instructions of exactly what we have to do with it and where it needs to go. This inevitably saves us time, which I get back to do other things.
How does One Stop help you behind the scenes?
A fully integrated system definitely makes it easier to run a business and as part of One Stop’s IT system, they regularly review the range for us, which helps us to keep up-to-date with the lines we’re selling and the lines we should drop. The automatic order system analyses sales on a daily and weekly basis and produces suggested orders. Deliveries from One Stop are always punctual - it’s good to have the delivery lorry arrive when you’re expecting it, as that makes for a better control of wages and saves time.
The seven day a week support is also very good, particularly when it comes to the tills. Issues are dealt with quickly, unlike our previous set-up, where we had very little support and it often took a long time to get things sorted.
Tim, how do you support Alan?
As a One Stop Business Development Manager (BDM) I help and support Alan to run his businesses, liaising between head office and the store. During our four-weekly visits, I give Alan advice and guidance on how to maximise sales, using the processes and procedures One Stop has in place.
What I can bring to franchisees is my experience and knowledge gained through working with independent retailers for the last 15 years. It enables me to share with them my knowledge and experiences of other businesses and what worked for them.
Alan, how does this help you?
The support we get with One Stop and our BDM is much better than our previous group - the information we look at is more detailed and it gives me a much better idea of how the store is performing.
Tim’s visits give us the opportunity to discuss the business; where it’s going, the margins, opportunities and how to move the business forward.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining One Stop, Alan?
I think it’s definitely something you should seriously look into, as there’s so many benefits. Joining One Stop was the right decision for me; sales have risen significantly and, margin-wise, it’s been great.
I’ve also got a village store in Banham which we refitted to a One Stop three months ago. We’re already beginning to see the benefits there and I would happily look at having a third store!