The last two generations of Shaun’s family have been involved in retail. “Our Jack’s Premier Store is 30 years old and I’ve always been interested in retail from a young age.”
But his parents certainly weren’t slaves to their work. “I knew loads of people who grew up in a convenience store and had parents working 100 hours a week. But my Dad has always had a managers and epos in place - there has always been structured staffing, which a lot of retailers haven’t had, so he wasn’t working from 6am til 10pm.”
Store: Three Premier stores in Glasgow
This in turn meant that, while he worked shifts at weekends growing up, Shaun wasn’t roped in to helping out every spare minute of the day, which enabled him to appreciate the business of retail, rather than just the everyday chores involved in running the shopfloor.
In order to continue what his parents had started, Shaun studied a management and finance degree at Strathclyde business school. “I wanted to be my own boss, which is where the idea came from to progress in retail with structures and operations,” he says. “While studying, I could put my learnings into practice straight away in our second store, Churchills, which we took on in 2009. That really helped me to learn the theory.”
By the time he had completed uni, he was ready to help his parents take on a third shop, Shaun’s Store. “When we took on our third store we wanted to hit the ground running with management structures and centralisation processes so we could take a back step from the day to day running of the store.”
Even when he is on holiday, retail is never far from Shaun’s mind though. “Our whole family is enthusiastic about retail,” he says. “On holiday in Hong Kong we were looking at 7-Eleven stores to see how they use the space.”
He explains that in order to grow the business it is important that he spends more time looking at the bigger picture. “What inspires me is to succeed and to transform stores, to invest in the store and change the ethos,” he says. Retailing isn’t just our bread and butter, it’s our passion.”