The Busby family has owned a grocery store in the Co Tyrone village of Moygashel for well over five decades with the original ‘Busby’s Stores’ being set up by Samuel Busby, trading for many years under just that name, until later becoming a successful Mace outlet.
Young Philip Busby began helping out his dad Sam after primary school and although now in his mid-50s is still there – after any earlier sales career – and has seen the community store through various changes.
Mace was the adopted image for the shop, but the most recent innovation – last July – was the rebranding as a franchise store under the Henderson’s Vivo, which, after over 20 years as a Mace was difficult for Philip and his wife and partner, Carol Busby.
“It was a big wrench to move from what you have known for years,” said Philip, “but there was less choice for my increasingly hard-pressed customers in the face of stiff competition.
“Both Carol and I felt a revamp was needed and Vivo best fitted the bill,” he said: “We felt Vivo had more offers.
“Henderson’s have more as a wholesaler that I can pass on to my customers and excellent support too, with regular calls to the shop by my Business Development Manager to help explain how best to set out my displays to maximise the deals from Vivo,” he added. “With my BDM, the focus is always on driving sales and margin, whilst at the same time providing a first class offer to the customer”.
The store already attracts about 20% ‘full trolley’ shopping overall, as there are still many people who are unable to get into Dungannon, park their cars and find their way around the aisles, preferring the convenience of a local shop.
Here too, new technology has helped, with scanning only introduced for the first time on the ‘big move’ to Vivo with significant dividends thanks to stock recognition software which allows the proprietor to gauge daily and weekly trade patterns and to channel re-ordering on a virtually automated system.
The store needed a facelift too and that came from signing a five-year deal with Henderson’s which allowed considerable investment in both the IT aspects and in new signage and fittings.
“It is a local service for local people and I need to keep up with the times to continue to attract this business”, Philip continued.
“I wasn’t looking to change, however when presented with the Henderson Group package, I was suitably impressed.
“I have had a significant increase in sales. The team are excellent to work with and I truly wish I made the decision to change to the Henderson Group years ago,” he concluded, but while still mindful of all the good decades as a Mace wholesaler.