It was Morrison’s acquisition of Safeway and its subsequent rapid expansion that ignited Calum’s interest in retail. “I’ve been following the progress of the supermarkets for years - their history and how they have changed over time,” he says. “When Morrison’s took over Safeway, it just sparked something inside me.”
He worked in Tesco while studying for an HND in business management, and then convinced his parents to buy him a store.
Store: Kinraig Stores, Kingussie, Scottish Highlands
Measuring just 502sq ft, Calum knew he would have to put every inch of Highlands-based Kinraig Stores to use to make it a success. He quickly set to work increasing the shop’s range from 1,500 to 2,500 lines, with several local products, such as Nairn bread and honey, thrown in for good
Working with 39 different wholesalers, enabled him to guarantee low prices and he introduced Tesco Price Match, Less Than Tesco and loyalty card initiatives to drive footfall.
In addition, he developed a website for the store, offering a handy Click and Collect service, as well as the Community Council minutes, to give people another reason to visit.
Turnover has increase 44% since Calum took on the store, but he has no plans to stop there. “I love being my own boss,” he says. “Before, when I worked in Tesco if someone asked for a product you’d pass it on to stock control, but nothing happened, whereas in your own store you can actually source the products and it’s much more satisfying.
“In the future, I’d like to move to Glasgow and have a bigger shop.”