He was just 12 days old when his parents bought their first store. “They moved from Wembley in London to Manchester to set up shop and a lot of people thought it was Crazy to move from South to North.”
It was the norm for Bhav to help out in the store as a kid, but he thought of it more as “play-time” than a chore. Having studied accounting and finance at Manchester University, he went to for the Bank of New York. “It was a good experience, I got a couple of promotions, but after two years I felt I wasn’t progressing any further.”
Meanwhile, his parents, who were running their original Costcutter store, were contacted by regional manager, who told them about a store that had gone bankrupt that he felt would be a good opportunity. They bought the store in 2010, but weren’t able to join Costcutter as there was already another store in the area, so instead joined Premier.
Store: Kwiksave, Little Lever, Bolton
Knowing that his parents could use the support, Bhav decided to join them and help get the new store into growth. I was able to use my uni knowledge to control our purchase ledger and sales ledger, as well as the day to day running of the business. “We got turnover up to a degree, but it wasn’t enough,” says Bhav. “I was in at the deep end and we were flat lining!”
The following year, the family was approached by Costcutter again, but this time to join Kwiksave. While the brand sounded like a good fit for the store, meeting the spec would mean a big investment. “We’d already invested £100,000 fitting the store out, so initially we didn’t know whether to risk investing again,” says Bhav. “But we took the gamble and spent £80,000 to get it to Kwiksave standard.”
The store reopened in May 2012 and turnover doubled, meaning that the family was able to make back their original investment. “It’s been a rocky ride, but we’re now looking for our second site,” says Bhav. “In retail every day is different - there are obstacles and challenges, but they make you stronger.”