How did you become a retailer?
It really came about as I used to stack shelves after school. I graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and took six months off to decide which way to take my career - I chose retail.

What do you like most about being a retailer?
Being in control of your own business; being able to apply innovative ideas and bring about change. There is an element of adrenalin in running a business. If I was working at Tesco, 90% of the time I'd probably be executing orders whether they were right or wrong.

What do you hate?
The hours get to me now and then, and I have to juggle a lot of balls but the only thing that is really frustrating is not being able to compete with the multiples.

What's the best advice anybody has given you?
Hire slowly, fire quickly.
What advice do you wish someone had given you when you were starting out?
I'd have liked a bit more financial advice on adding multiple sites.

What's good about the location of your shop?
It falls just off the main road, backing onto a large housing estate. I tend to disagree with the 'location, location, location' mantra - we've taken on stores in the middle of nowhere and turned them around. It's about creating the right offer.
Who's your best customer and why?
A lady who is about 90 comes in with her grandson every Saturday. He brings her without fail as she likes to choose her own shopping herself. We gave her a box of Roses at Christmas. She's been coming into the store for ever.

If you had your time over would you do anything differently?
I would have invested in technology from day one.

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