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Offering the personal touch to shoppers

A convenience retailer in Northampton says keeping up with the latest trends and responding to customer demand is the key to success for their business.

Raminder Singh Sidhu, known more commonly as Sid and his wife Paramjit Kaur Sidhu, known as Pam, have owned the Nisa Local in Prentice Court, Northampton for the past 17 years and have seen their business grow steadily over that time by offering customers a personal service.

Pam plays such an integral part in the lives of its shoppers that they regard the owner as one of their family and even affectionately call her “Auntie”.

It’s a busy store with shoppers calling in multiple times every day and since the introduction of Co-op own label range into the shop, customers are always looking for the latest fresh product to arrive.

She said: “We are always very busy and we have strong sales on our chilled range. Our customers sometimes come in two or three times in a day to pick up what they need and probably 90 per cent of our customers come in every single day.”

New chillers were installed into the store a few years ago to meet customer demands for more chilled and fresh products, and more recent additions include a coffee machine, freshly baked products, Co-op own label lines and an increasingly large range of Polish foods to accommodate the growing Eastern European population in the area.

Pam said: “For any convenience store to be successful you have to be good everywhere. Times are changing and we have to keep up with whatever is the latest trend and what it is our shoppers want to see. We are always looking to the future at what we need to do next to meet customer demand.

“We are looking forward to getting more fresh Co-op lines in as our customers are really keen.

“Shoppers come in and tell me what it is they are looking for. Our range is very big – we have many thousand lines instore - and a lot are specific products that our customers have requested,” Pam said.

“When you’re independent you can capture the needs of your shoppers and do something about it very easily. If it’s something they want you to stock you can order it in for them – that’s one of the best things about being independent, we offer the personalised service that the big chains just can’t provide.”