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    Exclusive close look at Glasgow’s futuristic c-store

    In this cut-throat retail competition, convenience stores can also flourish and thrive by arming up with technology while nurturing their local flavour and personal touch, thus beating multiples in their own game. And that is what exactly this suburban Glasgow store has been excelling at.

    Girish’s Premier at Barmulloch in Glasgow, Scotland is a prime example of a futuristic convenience store, one that embraces technology at each step to not only streamline the business, but also to offer a breezy shopping experience at par with nearest multiple.

    Armed with extensive refits and jazzy interiors along with many advanced technological solutions, the store is constantly enhancing its operational efficiency as well as fostering immense customer loyalty.

    Speaking to Asian Trader, the man behind the store, retailer Girish Jeeva, opened up on his journey as a retailer and what goes behind the scenes that makes his store stand apart in the community.

    He said, “When we first set eyes on the location of this store, we knew it could thrive. Being in a prime residential area and seeing the outdated store run by the previous owners, we knew we had to seize the opportunity. It’s a 30-year-old site and when we took over the store in November 2021, it was pretty run down.”

    Exclusive close look at Glasgow's futuristic c-store
    Retailer Girish Jeeva

    The Barmulloch store is Jeeva’s second store. After working for five years in his family’s MFG petrol station, he had bought his first store on London Road, another run-down site that he acquired and soon managed to turn around.

    He continued, “Our business plan at Barmulloch store was to achieve 30, 0000 sales weekly in the first annum. We hit those numbers quickly, but we knew the store was nowhere near its full potential.

    “A couple of months after acquisition, we closed the premises for four weeks and did a major renovation, bringing our ideas to life. For a 2,000 sqft space, it wasn’t easy to get it right, considering we changed every inch of the shop.”

    After the refit, the store emerged as Scotland’s first large Premier Concept Store, he said.

    Apart from business needs, Jeeva also kept community requirements in mind during refits. For instance, he made sure that his Barmulloch store is well-equipped for people with disability.

    “I remember when we came to see the store to buy, we noticed there was one customer who was on a mobility bike and was waiting outside, waiting for her purchase. It turned out she has been visiting the store for 20 years but never been inside it!

    “I strongly felt at that moment that this shouldn’t be the case and that every customer should be able to navigate the store comfortably. Once I acquired the store, I refurbished it to create enough space for this particular customer to navigate and move around,” he said.

    Today, the store stands apart in the region for the modern shopping experience it offers owing to the combined result of its jazzy interiors, first-to-market product line and new-age supermarket-like features such as online home delivery, loyalty scheme, self-checkout tills and electronic labels.

    Jeeva told Asian Trader, “Our USP is the concept we try to build for our customers through various innovations, thus making it a destination store for all.

    Exclusive close look at Glasgow's futuristic c-store

    “For me, it is also important that are staff are well trained for all the new changes and deliver the information across to customers, so we spend great amount of time with all our team to make sure customers are aware with all changes and new innovations as well as shouting on our social media platforms.”

    The store also has a spacious beer cave, which was among the industry first in the area that gives the store “an edge over local competitors”.

    The store’s refresh and vaping display also drives shoppers to the store. The store also has a vast 14 metre chilled section, along with a separate food to go section and a new revamped 12.5 metre frozen section that keeps “a huge variety of products which were never seen in the area before”, he said.

    Apart from stocking a wide and interesting range of products, the store also boasts of being retail benchmark of sophistication.

    Jeeva said, “We installed Hanshow electronic price labels after much research. Again, this is another investment which will help with the longevity of our store, and give us that extra edge by reducing staffing hours spent on paper labeling allowing more focus on other departments.”

    Exclusive close look at Glasgow's futuristic c-store

    Most recently in April, the store teamed up with MyCheckr to assist the store’s staff with age verification. MyCheckr works by alerting cashiers with red or green lights displayed on the screen to distinguish whether they need to request ID.

    “Our store is jam-packed with innovation, and the most game-changing collaboration is with our freshly installed FM Radio, powered by RETaiL AI Limited, which plays targeted in-store promotions and commercials alongside music. We were the first store to trial out Retail AI age verification, which prevents from entering the beer cave.”

    Apart from being ultra tech-savvy, the store is also in complete sync with the pulse of the community it serves. To help the residents cut down the grocery bill, the store offers loyalty scheme by My DD Points, something that has put the store further on the map, thus expanding its customer base.

    “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the community around us which has helped us thrive. So we feel it’s only right we do the same for them, and look forward to trading from our current location for many years in the future,” he concluded.

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