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Retailer plays to his strengths

Playing on his independence to react to trends and situations to the benefit of his customers is the key to success according to a West Midlands retailer.  

Harjit Singh, who runs the Nisa Local High Heath store in Walsall says he listens to his customers and responds to what is happening, as it is happening to make sure he stays one step ahead.

The community-spirited businessman demonstrated this flexibility during the World Cup campaign when England made it through to the quarter final stages.

“I gauged the mood. The buzz in the shop was something that had never happened before. The women were coming in the shop and planning their weekend around the football and the whole public mood was lifted. I knew we had to do something to embrace that so I went out, bought a television and set it up outside the store for the neighbourhood to come and watch together.”

More than 150 members of the community turned up for the event which saw Harjit distribute 300 free samosas to customers along with non-alcoholic drinks.

Harjit also hosts an annual party for shoppers which sees the community enjoy a family fun day with activities such as live music, bouncy castles and magicians.

“It’s all about giving back to the community,” says Harjit. “I want to run my store the best I possibly can, and I go a bit further than your average retailer might usually do.

“The beauty of being an independent retailer is that I can go out, buy a television and stage an event with just 24 hours’ notice – that’s not something the multiples could ever do and as independent retailers we need to play on that strength.”