After finishing school, Andrew got a job in a local Spar. “It was meant to be a gap year, but I got bitten by the retail bug and cancelled my plans to study law at university in Plymouth,” says Andrew.
He became a full-time supervisor at the store. Two years later he convinced his parents to buy local Londis shop Dales Stores for him to run.
In 2010 he got restless and took on a Premier store in nearby Pennycomequick, which he gutted and re-launched as Londis. “We merged the two business and now my Mum does the accounts, and I run both stores with the help of two managers.”
Stores: Two Londis stores in Plymouth
He is about to roll out a home delivery scheme across the business, but don’t expect to see the usual van - he has just purchased a Land Rover Defender for the job! “We’ll start the home delivery initiative with phone and email orders and then next year we’re hoping to copy the product file on our epos system onto a phone app.”
This is just one of many ways Andrew is using technology to improve his business. “I’m a gadget freak!” he grins. “I have everything to do with the store on my mobile - I can even log into the tills remotely.” He frequently works with suppliers in-store and is happy to print off his sales data for them to analyse.
Both stores are performing well, with Dales Stores seeing steady growth and Pennycomequick’s sales up a whopping 50% since Andrew took on the reigns.
“I enjoy what I do, which is important,” says the ambitious retailer. “I’d like a third store by the time I’m 30, so I’ve got five years to work on that, and then another two by the time I hit 40.”