Reena and Bintesh Amin weren’t deterred by the tough trading conditions when they gave up their respective jobs with the council and in finance to join the family business and buy their first convenience store, in the village of Blean in Canterbury. Convinced of the potential of convenience retailing they followed in the footsteps of Reena’s parents, Kiran and Meena Patel, Londis retailers for over 20 years, and partnered with Londis. Before setting up on their own they spent a year working at one of Kiran and Meena’s three Londis stores where they gained valuable retailing experience. After asking customers what they wanted they then invested in an £80,000 refit to create a state-of-the art convenience store for the community:
- Chilled food was high on their agenda. They increased the fresh food offering by 2.5m, adding more fresh meat and fresh produce. Bintesh expects the energy-saving chillers, with doors, to make savings of around 20-25 per cent over a year.
- There are new chillers for alcohol too and, since it’s an affluent area, they’ve added champagne and fine wines (£20 – £40 price bracket) to their range.
- There’s a new ATM, lottery terminal and cigarette gantry plus an increased bakery section offering a selection of freshly-backed products throughout the day.
Under the ownership of Reena and Bintesh, the 1,800 sq ft store, previously an ailing Costcutter taking just £12,500 a week, is now taking £18,500 a week and is on track to reach its target of £25,000 within six months.
The store launch was supported by the local mayor and MP with goodie bags for customers.