An Essex retailer whose store was nearly killed off by a nearby Tesco Express has revived his business after switching to Bargain Booze.

Ponnuthurai Sritharan suffered a 50% loss of sales after Tesco Express opened opposite his 1,800sq ft South Ockendon store in December 2008. Unaffiliated at the time, sales remained at 40% down until he switched to Bargain Booze in the summer of 2010.

The store is now bringing in £4,000 a week more than it was pre-Tesco.

Ponnuthurai said he stocked all the Bargain Booze lines and benefited from the high number of products on promotion. He also ensures all white wines and rosés are kept in the chiller.

“Bargain Booze designed the layout really well so everything is clearly signed now,” Ponnuthurai added.

He said stock levels were always high and customer service second to none. “We always have something here for the customers, and we make sure we always leave them smiling,” he said. “I’ve been in retail for 25 years and you need everything to be successful.”

Bargain Booze acting managing director Keith Webb said: “With our support he has turned the store into a very profitable business, with clear off-licence, grocery and chilled areas that consumers can easily navigate. We increased the off-licence offering to give him a point of difference, and opened the windows up so shoppers could view the attractive, hard-hitting offers from outside.

“The store has transformed into a destination shop that is exemplary in both its product offering and customer service. The nearby Tesco Express can’t compete with the off-licence deals on offer, hence the continued rise in turnover, and we are confident that profits will continue to grow, unaffected by Tesco’s presence.”