Naresh Gajri, Rakesh Sood, One Stop Franchisees, Cranhill and James Carroll, Business Development Manager
Can you tell us about your store?
Rakesh: Our store is 3,200 square feet and we’ve got 11 staff in total; four full-time and seven part-time. Naresh and I run the store together.
Naresh: We’ve only been with One Stop for a short time, so initially we started with the One Stop £50,000 store refit. We had plenty of guidance, so everything went smoothly in that time.
We now have a spacious store which is more accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users and those with prams. We’ve also been able to introduce a Post Office and a One Stop ‘Food to Go’ counter – which our customers love. We’re the only store in the UK to have the new ‘Stacked’ brand, which are hot and cold subs made for customers on the spot, which enables us to compete even further for the lunchtime trade.
What changes have you seen since moving to One Stop?
Naresh: The largest improvement we’ve seen so far is with the Meal Deal. In the past we used to sell very few sandwiches, however, since moving to One Stop, we’ve seen a 200-300% increase in sales and they’re our best seller!
The average customer’s shopping basket has improved as they’re doing more of a ‘family shop’. Another immediate benefit we’ve seen is the increase in our margin; we used to make between 18-19% and now we’re making about 22%. Gross profit has gone up as well.
How about the One Stop promotions?
Naresh: Promotions are very important as they allow us to give better value to customers and a reason for them to come back to us again and again.
Rakesh: Over the Christmas period the promotions were great, and we had excellent feedback from customers. Previously, our sales used to go down at Christmas but this year they actually improved for the first time! The One Stop planograms and marketing pack, to support promotions, are very helpful so in only a short time we’re already seeing the benefits.
How has One Stop’s technology saved you time?
Naresh: With the One Stop system we get all the information we need; all the VAT and promotions are handled by the system and the automated ordering is done every day, so we just concentrate on the shop floor. Any problems, we just need to make a phone call to the team at One Stop and it’s sorted straight away.
The technology provides central invoicing too which has saved us a lot of time, as we no longer need to input the invoices manually.
All the deliveries arrive in the morning, so in the afternoon we just relax and chat to our customers or spend time with our families. We used to go to three or four different places for stock every morning, but that has completely stopped now as the supplies come straight to the door. Stock control is very good too - we hold 40% less stock than we used to because of the frequent deliveries.
Jim, what support to you offer Naresh and Rakesh?
I see them at least once a month and this is where we have a full review of the business. In between those visits, I am in regular contact to support them with any issues they might have or with anything else they might need.
I offer all sorts of advice; anything from the general day-to-day running of a franchise, to specific advice on the profitability, margins, sales, like-for-like sales and setting budgets for them to achieve. My main role is to make One Stop franchisees successful in what they do and to help them to have a strong future in a highly competitive industry. I enjoy seeing franchisees becoming successful and working smarter instead of harder, which then naturally progresses to more sales and profit being generated.
How would describe your work/life balance since joining One Stop?
Naresh: The last 30 years of running my store have been very busy for me and now, thanks to joining One Stop, I’ve got more free time for my hobbies and spend time with my family. I’ve got two boys and three grandchildren, so now I can spend time with them and with my elderly mother.
We’d like to open another store with One Stop at the end of this year and in five years we’d like even more! I enjoy coming to work now as now there’s no pressure at all. Running a One Stop is easy, in comparison to our previous store and we’ve seen good financial improvements already. Your life will be easier after joining One Stop and you can spend more time with your families and there won’t be any more running around wholesalers!
Rakesh: If you’re thinking of joining One Stop, just go ahead and do it!