Mo Razzaq’s determination to modernise his Family Shopper-branded store in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, yielded three richly deserved accolades at this year’s Convenience Retail Awards. His innovations include an in-store dessert bar, web-enabled delivery service and his own loyalty app, all of which are driving basket spend and profit margins in a challenging trading area. Judges recognised his success with awards for Community Retailer of the Year, Best Use of Technology and Retailers’ Retailer of the Year.
In a low-income area with a number of discounters nearby, Mo was looking for ways to increase margin, and had also noticed that few younger shoppers were spending time in the store.
His solution was to install a ‘Roxy’s’ dessert bar, complete with a small seating area.
Products include premium ice cream, waffles, pancakes, milkshakes, crêpes and a variety of toppings, plus spectacular cakes from a local baker.
Roxy is the name of Mo’s wife, but the bar was deliberately designed to look like an external franchise to win consumer confidence.
So far, the investment is paying off. By the end of last year, sales at the dessert bar were exceeding £3,000 per week at a 50% margin, boosting shop margins overall.
The 2,800sq ft store has room for a Subway franchise and other food-to-go options such as Chicago Town pizza.
While Subway does bring customers to the shop, about 60% of orders are delivered. Anything in the store is available for home delivery, with orders taken via the Subway website, the store website, or the store’s Facebook page.
The team make deliveries in a co-branded Subway and Family Shopper van, and also use the roadside location to promote the store’s services.
Local products, such as butchery lines, are available in-store.
A reverse vending machine is helping to recycle waste. Shoppers can donate 10p to a charity, or get a discount coupon for the dessert bar for each item returned.
Mo is a local councillor and supports a huge number of community projects through the store, including local schools, sports and arts groups and care homes. He also offers work experience to schoolchildren and people with disabilities.
He has devised a loyalty app called Privilege. Shoppers download the app and scan in each time they shop and over time get rewarded with bespoke offers. Average basket spend is £7.99 for a regular visitor, but £12.69 for a Privilege member and £16.79 for a delivery customer.
Community Retailer of the Year
Mo’s dedication to the local community is to be commended, and the judges were very impressed to see the numerous groups he has supported, from pensioners’ bingo, to boxing clubs and drama groups. This has impacted a lot of different people from all walks of life and made Family Shopper Blantyre stand out as a true community retailer.
Sponsored by: Camelot
Retailers’ Retailer of the Year
Mo was selected as the winner by retailer panel the Pladis Ambassadors. As well as impressing with his self-created dessert bar, delivery service and loyalty app, Mo also won the praise of his fellow store owners by supporting a huge number of local community groups and always being ready to share the benefit of his experience with other retailers.
Sponsored by: Pladis
Best Use of Technology
Mo impressed the judges in this category with the way he is pushing forward with technology solutions in an area where many retailers simply wouldn’t risk the investment. It is great to see that he is seeing such an impressive return on his innovations in customer loyalty and delivery apps, which are both boosting basket spend and future-proofing the business.
Sponsored by: Shopt