Busharap Ghani's Best-One store in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is in probably the best location that a convenience store could be.

Slap bang in the middle of the historic market town's high street, a stone's throw away from the picturesque river bank and its posh residential development, three doors down from a brand spanking new theatre, and a jot away from a university and one of the UK's largest multicultural colleges. Perfect.

In fact, everything about the new purpose-built store is just that: perfect. In this immaculately merchandised store nothing is out of place. Gaps just do not exist.

Bottles, packets and boxes are arranged with a such military precision that you feel the need to apologise as you slide your can of Coke out of the flawlessly faced drinks wall.

But it's okay, the breach is plugged faster than you can say ring pull, filled by an impeccably trained member of staff.

Busharap's cousin and manager Irfan Bashir is one of these. He has devoted himself to the store since its first day of trading in February 2007, and he has loved every minute of it. And being open 365 days of the year, for 24 hours a day, he's certainly had a lot of minutes to love. But it's easy to see why. The store's enviable location means that it benefits from a constant stream of truly diverse customers, from wealthy housewives, to frugal students, suited and booted businessmen and jovial theatre- goers. This medley of different cultures, attitudes and needs makes for a vibrant atmosphere, and is also reflected in the store's diverse product range.

Budget packs of wafer thin ham are placed next to exotic smoked meats, while small bagged snacks perfect for picnics by the river are ranged next to large sharing packs perfect for munching at the theatre.

A large chest freezer, granted pride of place at the rear of the store, is filled to the brim with student favourites frozen pizza, curry and spag bol.

And despite its location in a busy, often raucous part of town at night, the store has barely been touched by crime.

"We are busy all night long, and particularly on the weekends. There are often just as many people in the store at 2am as there are at lunchtime, but we've never had a problem with crime," says Irfan.

"Kingston is quite an upmarket area, which means that fortunately we don't experience anything like the problems that some of my friends who work in more disadvantaged areas do," he adds.

But that's not to say that Busharap and Irfan don't take precautions. The store is one of many in the area linked to a radio system with a direct line to the local police station equally conveniently located just a few slabs up the pavement. In fact, the blue glow from the station's sign can be seen clearly from the till point.

Busharap's decision not to sell alcohol is another factor that helps the store's low crime rate. "So much violent crime is fuelled by alcohol and we have taken a conscious decision not to sell it," Busharap explains. "The troublemakers know they won't get alcohol here, so they don't come near," he adds.

The store has, of course, suffered a few incidents of shoplifting, but Irfan and the other store workers have been so well drilled in how to deal with it that, thankfully, instances are few and far between.

"We always try to have a member of staff posted at each end of the store to keep an eye on things," says Irfan. "A strong staff presence really does help to prevent shoplifting, and if you can tidy the shelves while you are standing there you're killing two birds with one stone!" he adds.

The store has also been rigged up with a comprehensive CCTV system which is closely monitored either by Irfan or another member of staff. "If we catch a shoplifter, we always react very calmly and ask the suspect to come and view the footage. Ninety-nine per cent of the time the situation is resolved with no problem at all."

But the store's CCTV is not just used to keep tabs on nabbers. Owner Busharap, who has four other stores in the area, likes to tune in every now and again and check that his staff are doing what he pays them to.

"Now and again we'll get a call from Busharap telling us to stack some shelves or clean something up," jokes Irfan. "It certainly keeps us on our toes."

And with Busharap's plans to acquire another store over the coming few months, it looks like Irfan will be busier still. Irfan hopes that the move will mean he is granted even more responsibility in the Kingston store a thought which he relishes.

"I love learning new skills, and it's such a great feeling to know that you are trusted to get on with your job and do it to the best of your ability," he adds. "Being a family member definitely helps too!"

However, believe it or not, there is one thing that Irfan loves about his job above all else. "It's the scanning," he laughs. "I love the feel of scanning products at the till, I could do it all day long!" And that can only be a good thing in a 24-hour store

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