Tech advantages of retail opportunities

Landmark store owner says investing in the right cutting-edge technology pays off

Girish Jeeva, store owner of Premier Girish's @ Barmulloch.
Girish Jeeva, store owner of Premier Girish’s @ Barmulloch has been touting the benefits of investing in the latest tech to help improve the running of his store.

FORWARD-THINKING convenience retailer Girish Jeeva has been sharing insights about the benefits of investing in the latest technology.

The owner of Premier Girish’s @ Barmulloch, Glasgow, has ploughed more than £500,000 into his store since taking it over in November 2021 – starting with a major refit and then constantly upgrading it.

But the bold spending plans have more than paid off, with weekly sales rising from a best of £25,000 in December 2021 to an average of more than £75,000 by the end of 2023, with profit margins running at about 30%.

Girish said: “I know when I am bringing in something new that it will make money.

“Obviously, retailers need to be sure that the investment will pay off and they can find that out by visiting other store owners.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to be creative and learn new things, you’ve got to meet your fellow retailers.

“It’s a really satisfying way of developing on both a personal level and on the business front.”

An image of the Premier Beer Cave concept sits on the left with a picture of a store's counter sits on the right.
Girish’s store includes some of the latest tech upgrades, including a self-scan checkout, and concept developments from Premier.

The emphasis on technology is evident on entering the store – with all staff wearing headsets so they can communicate and carry out day-to-day operations seamlessly. As well as helping to maintain a professional standard, their use assists in preventing shoplifting.

But the most game-changing collaboration for Girish has been with Retail AI.

The store’s freshly installed FM radio channel plays targeted in-store promotions and commercials alongside music for customers’ enjoyment.

Most crucially, though, is the way the Retail AI technology can detect unusual, suspicious behaviour by customers and provide real-time alerts to the manager and staff.

Moreover, it triggers a broadcast of a warning message to would-be shoplifters that they are being watched.

Meanwhile, Retail AI’s age verification prevents customers and staff from entering the recently installed Beer Cave if they appear to be underage.

Costing £50,000, Girish believes the chilled, secure Beer Cave sited next to the tills is a worthwhile investment that gives his store the edge over local competitors.

An American Candy section in a Premier store sits to the left and a Refresh @ Premier station concept sits on the right with slush machines.
Offering the latest trends with the freshest innovations within convenience retail.

The AI technology also directs customers to the full self-scan checkout if there are queues at the normal tills.

Girish worked with well-known Scottish EPOS provider MHouse in order to refit the store counter area to accommodate the self-service checkout – which alerts staff if it detects that a shopper hasn’t scanned an item properly.

Also at the till area are two My ID Checker devices that use facial recognition technology to flag up the potential of a customer to be under 25.

Girish explained: “The red/green light system gives staff the confidence to ask shoppers for proof-of-age ID.”

Two time-saving features are the shelf-management system, which automatically pushes items forward when a customer takes the product at the front, and the Hanshow electronic shelf-labelling installed across the store at a cost of £40,000.

Girish said the multi-coloured digital labels meant the correct pricing could be set remotely, staff could focus on other aspects as they didn’t need to spend hours on paper labelling and deals could still be highlighted.

The store has also partnered with My DD Points to start a loyalty scheme that allows customers to access different discounted products monthly.

Meanwhile, the shop’s busy Facebook page engages with the local community by providing updates about the latest hot products and mega deals, as well as Snappy Shopper promotions.

Girish concluded: “With our layout, which has a natural flow that keeps things simple, and the investment in technological solutions, I finally feel there is longevity and efficiency in every aspect of the store.

“Booker has supported and guided me in this journey and helped put the store on the map. If you want to join a symbol that will work very closely with you, Premier is the best choice.”