Convenience Retailers of the Year the Cheema family are launching their own brand as part of a major expansion of the business.
The family’s second store is due to open in late October on a former pub site on the outskirts of Birmingham, about 10 miles from the existing store at Tile Hill in Coventry. The original outlet is also set for a revamp and both stores will trade under the Malcolm’s banner, co-branded with Costcutter in Coventry and Kwiksave at the new site.
Directors Paul and Pinda Cheema told C-Store that the recent addition of their brother Aman to the business had given them a new impetus to build on the tradition established by their father, Malcolm.
Paul said: “Pinda and I were comfortable where we were, but then Aman wanted to take the business in a different direction. He’s given us the kick that we needed.
“Malcolm’s name is well known in the area and with the trade as a whole. It’s important to keep my dad’s heritage going into the new stores, and we need to keep it local and keep our brand with the power brand of Costcutter so it’s personalised.
“You can’t just do run-of-the-mill, because the customer wants something different. We’ve got a higher ceiling at the entrance of the store to create a welcome space with a feeling of openness, and the alcohol area is spacious, too. A manager has been inducted and next we’ll be going to the job centre to recruit the till and replenishment staff.”
The Cheemas used postcode mapping to help understand the demographics around the new site before opting for the Kwiksave format. A local councillor initially opposed the alcohol licence, but after Pinda Cheema showed him around and explained about the company’s numerous award wins and strong community ethos, he withdrew his objection.
Paul added that the family were on the lookout for further new sites in future.
“The biggest worry for us is that we have always opened and closed the store ourselves and done the reconciliation. A new store is a bit scary. There have been a few sleepless nights.”