20200406 insights

Running a retail business, even during the very good times can be extremely challenging. Increasing costs and legislation changes can be substantial and the ability to find the necessary growth to continue to profit can be difficult without support. Partnering with a trusted national brand could be just what your store needs, but being a part of a brand is much more than just having a recognisable name above your door.


Operating under a big brand name can often give your business instant impact, especially in today’s world where everything is about speed and efficiency. Customers have less time to make decisions and your storefront needs to communicate to them as quickly as possible. According to the FedEx Office “What’s Your Sign Survey,” as many as 76% of consumers will choose to enter a store they’ve never been to before just because they like the sign.

Customers will already know and trust a national brand, so you won’t need to spend time and money marketing yourself. A branded storefront is the first impression you get to make on your customers, so getting it right is important. Developing a store brand for yourself can be expensive or harming to your reputation if not done properly.


The average attention span has dropped to 8 seconds and this is all it takes for someone to decide whether to leave a website, or walk into a store. This means you have a very limited time to make an impression, so the better, more recognisable your storefront brand is at making that connection, the more likely that passers by will visit your store.


If you chose to franchise your business it’s not just instant brand recognition you will benefit from. You will be inheriting a proven business model that comes with initial training, ongoing support and increased purchasing power. You also benefit from brand protection, as a franchisor will have a specific criteria for applicants to meet and continue to adhere to, including everything from service standards to the businesses look and feel – this is to ensure consistency across the brand.


An independent convenience retailer has complete responsibility for every aspect of operating their business. This means they can run the business exactly as they want to but they have no external support, backup or access to the types of tools and expert knowledge and services that bigger brands may have, such as industry insights, buying scale and operating standards. While symbol group retailers have the benefit of an established fascia and some of the range, consistency across these estates can fluctuate greatly. Customers could visit two stores under the same brand and have two very different shopping experiences – whether it was the service they received, the price they paid or range that was available. One bad experience in a branded store, can affect that customers perception of all stores operating under that brand. That’s why it’s key to explore consistency across the estate when deciding who to partner with.


Shoppers are willing to spend a little extra in an environment where they feel comfortable and experience great customer service. A clean and well planned store also helps to establish a brand identity. If you don’t feel your fascia is attracting customers, now might be the time to talk to the convenience retail experts. One of the best ways for you to inject life back into your business, is partnering with a trusted national brand that is ready to co-invest up to £50,000 (subject to T&Cs) in a fully managed refit, ensuring a new look and feel inside and outside your store.