Celebrating 30 years of Dougalls

FROM a tiny corner off-licence to a much-extended shiny convenience store offering a vast range of goods and services; Dougalls in Coventry has just celebrated 30 years in business.

And business is booming for the family-run store which prides itself on the personal touch it gives its customers.

The Dougalls bought the store in 1987 as a new venture that saw them move away from friends and family and set up shop in a new part of town.

Monica Dougall, who manages the store alongside her parents and brothers, said: “My parents bought the shop and moved here when the area was full of families and the area had a real sense of community. Everyone knew their neighbour and kids used to play on the streets. We were a small corner shop, which sold the necessities.

Fast forward 30 years and the place is almost unrecognisable today. An extension has seen the store grow to 1,600 sq. ft. and around two years ago, it was fitted out to Nisa’s Store of the Future specification.

Monica said: “We ran the shop independently for about 25 years but then started to look at symbol groups. Nisa came and spent time with us; they saw our potential and believed in us. They helped us with our number crunching and nothing was too much for them. We are now able to offer a range of products giving customers a wider product choice and the ability to do their weekly shop.”

Situated in a bustling community near two schools and with a large student population, the shop stocks a wide range of fresh goods with a bank of seven chillers selling a great range of own-label as well as branded products.

Pizzas and ready meals fly off the shelves, a firm favourite with hungry students, and fresh fruit and vegetables sell well with overseas students.

The shop offers Paypoint, the National Lottery, Collect Plus as well as a Costa Express and a bakery offer from Country Choice.

But the real strength of the store is the part it plays in the community, with many customers now old friends who come in not just for their bread and milk but also for a friendly ear and a chat.

“We have grown up with many of our customers and they have grown up with us. We know each other by name and it’s a real community hub.”

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