Daniel Wilson is a former accountant and today, he is at the helm of a multi-million-pound portfolio of One Stop stores. Together with his brother and business partner, Craig, Danny has just opened his record 20th store with the franchise.
The Wilson brothers joined One Stop in 2015 with seven stores around the Scarborough area, turning over £7m. The partnership now has the largest number of stores for a single One Stop franchisee and by the end of this year, will turn over more than £25m.
Daniel explains: “When we joined One Stop, we weren’t in a great place and our main concern was to get the business profitable and out of debt.
“We were due to open our eighth store, which we did with One Stop and then seeing how successfully it ran, decided to switch all the others to the One Stop model.”
Despite global uncertainties, the cost-of-living crisis and rises in mortgages and lending, the Wilsons’ turnover has more than trebled and the brothers are steadfastly continuing along their own positive trajectory of business ownership and success.
Explaining some of the learnings which have helped carve out this success, Daniel said: “The initial information we get from One Stop about potential sites we’re interested in is absolutely key. The company is very data driven, so we can use One Stop’s expertise about how a store might perform.
“We know the areas we open in well, so with these insights we are fully equipped to make the right decision about an acquisition.
“We have found the more stores we’ve opened, the easier it gets. Everyone knows what they’re doing and with the automatic planograms the stores run themselves, especially because we don’t need to be in the store to check how they’re doing as we just scan the online report. If we put a manager in and they follow what is required, the sales growth will come.”
John Miller, head of franchise at One Stop explains: “Whilst some areas of the economy maybe experiencing a slowdown, the Wilsons are proving how buoyant the convenience retail market is and are not scared to grab the opportunities on offer.”
“The business duo have followed the One Stop model throughout and have developed a lucrative business which shows no signs of slowing down. They’re able to reinvest profits to keep growing and know the areas they operate in, which is another strong key to their success.”
The Wilson brothers now have over 200 staff so have been able to create specific roles to cover store areas from accounts and office staff to a maintenance team and area managers. Danny continues: “It sounds like a cliché, but it’s a team effort and many of our staff have been with us for years and opening more stores has led to an increase in skills.”
“Our One Stop BDM (Business Development Manager) Stephen Blades is very good with a lot of knowledge. He works with us to help the managers with promotions and to check standards across all the stores. We’ve got a strong team around us and trade has increased by around 26% per store, which is about a third higher than when we joined.”
The Wilsons have also been able to use their success to help others and over the years have donated over £100,000 to local causes, from schools to football teams. Daniel is himself set to run 230km over five days in Jordan to raise further funds to swell the charity bucket.
Talking about what the future looks like Daniel concludes: “We will continue to open more stores, but we don’t have a set number, as I want us to manage things in a financially viable way. These will probably be more towards Teeside as we’ve got a number in the Scarborough area now.
“I never thought we’d have this many sites but it’s less about the numbers and more about the fact we’ve made strong acquisitions and have good stores. I would like to slow openings down a bit but I’m not always great at following my own advice! If you show me something good, I’ll normally find a way to give it a go!”