Store: Mace
Location: Whissendine, Rutland
Budget: £76,000

Kash Odedra (pictured left) and his father Ram started from scratch when they converted a former restaurant into a Mace store in the Rutland village of Whissendine. But they were sure it would be worth the effort, given the lack of competitors in what is a sizeable village.

“We did research to see if the shop would work. There was massive demand from the locals as there are no other shops at all, and there was also demand from nearby villages,” Kash says.

The total cost of the conversion was £76,000 plus VAT, including £18,000 to knock down a wall and install the wiring. Mace lent them the money for fittings and fixtures, and provided the epos for free, saving Kash and Ram about £7,500.

Ram borrowed £40,000 from the bank (Lloyds TSB) to develop the shop, in addition to a £180,000 loan for the freehold. “It wasn’t too difficult getting the money because the bank could see we had an excellent business case. You have to be convincing as banks are a nightmare at lending at the moment,” Ram says. Kash says it also helped that his father was an area development manager for Mace.

The store opened in mid-March and turnover is already about £6,500 a week and increasing all the time. They’re hoping turnover will hit up to £9,000 within eight weeks and £15,000 within 12 to 18 months, when they will have a National Lottery terminal installed and in-store bakery up and running.

Cuisine de France is providing a free oven, freezer and stand for the bakery, as a result of a lucky encounter. “Cuisine de France’s chief executive lives down the road and was impressed by the shop, so he sent an area manager to organise the bakery.”

They also plan to open a “proper” post office offering services such as currency and licensing, and hope to get the go-ahead in three to six months. In the meantime, Ram is confident they will achieve a return on investment within six months.

Chillers

The chillers cost £22,000. Ram and Kash say this is above average, but the extra cost is worth it as they’ll save about 20% a year on energy costs. “We opted for the Bentley rather than the BMW,” they say.

shelving

The cost of the shelving, including this newspaper stand, was about £10,000. “It was recommended by P&H,” points out Ram.

EPOS

The epos system is “a smart piece of equipment, it’s the same as M&S uses,” says Kash. The system is worth £7,500, but for the Odedras it was provided free through P&H.

Fixtures

As part of P&H’s investment in the business, they helped financially with fittings and fixtures. The £58,000 spent included this smart-looking fascia.

Lighting

“We wanted to create a smart and modern feel, so we opted for these spotlights,” says Kash. “They give the store a warmer feel and save on energy. They cost us about £4,500 about £800 above average but should save 15-20% in energy bills.”