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Independent retailer’s ‘cut and paste’ plan for rapid growth

An ambitious entrepreneur who launched his third Nisa Local of the year in December, says the aim is to more than double the store count in 2023 with a view to further growing the portfolio thereafter.

Sanjay Karavadra has taken on three former Co-op stores across the north of England with the fourth due to open in January.

He said he is refining the process to ensure it is as streamlined as possible and will allow him and his business partner to speed up acquisitions and store launches with multiple sites in the pipeline over the coming 12 months.

“We have plans to keep growing our portfolio, but it is important that we get it right."

“The aim is to cut and paste the Co-op stores in terms of the staff and how they run the shop. Then add in the more local points by changing the products according to the area so that the store suits the customers and meets their specific needs and what they like to buy.”

Independent retailer’s ‘cut and paste’ plan for rapid growth Front of store before development

The first store launched in Millom, Cumbria in June with the second opening in Crook, north of Darlington in November. The third and final store for the year launched in Grimsby in early December.

Store number four is set to open in mid-January in Darwen with a further four stores planned once the acquisition process has been reviewed to see what improvements can be made.

Sanjay said: “With each store launched we’ve learned something new, and the process is becoming smoother each time. We now need to ensure we have the right system in place so that going forward, with each purchase the transition is slick.

“Our aim is to get the store, switch it over to a Nisa and get everything ready inside and out within a few days. It’s important that the process doesn’t take too long because our customers are already there, and we want them to be able to depend on us.”

Independent retailer’s ‘cut and paste’ plan for rapid growth Front of store with Fascia

In each of the new stores, the range has been reviewed with a strong Co-op own brand remaining and new products and services then added to make the best of the store and maximise the space available.

Food and drinks to go have been key additions at all sites with the installation of Costa Coffee and Tango Ice Blast and more.

Sanjay said: “We have lots of ideas in our head, but we are still learning and will keep refining until we get it perfect.”

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