Here at Your Company Formations, we’ve been thinking about if it really is the thought that counts at Christmas time and were lucky enough to be able to talk about Christmas shopping, presents and the essence of giving with award winning entrepreneur, Suleman Sacranie.
Suleman is a British entrepreneur who started and sold his first company at the age of 19. He dropped out of university, he had just £500 in his bank account yet, months later, his company 99p shopper was at the forefront of the retail industry and taking thousands of pounds each day.
Today, Suleman holds the title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and having successfully sold his stake in 99p shopper, has recently founded theGPservice.co.uk. We were lucky enough to catch up with Suleman and with Christmas approaching, we really wanted to know if he still believed that it is the thought that counts.
Typically, Christmas is associated with jam packed high streets, over spending and indulgence. Christmas lists have turned into lists of the most expensive gadgets and games in the market. However, since 2010, our Christmas spend has reduced by 37% and retailers are beginning to reduce prices and offer pre Christmas sales to encourage people to buy.
With stores like Suleman’s offering big brands at low prices, retailers are feeling an increased pressure to slash prices – to offer price matching and all year discounts that can compete not only with their high street competitors but also those that are online. In recent years, the retail industry has become so cut throat that many businesses operate in huge levels of debt until ‘Black Friday’ when stores entice consumers to queue for miles and fight the crowds to find many high price items at ridiculously low prices. It seems the retailers that are really making things work are the 99p stores, which Suleman first brought online in 2010. The average value of each customer has almost doubled since 2010 and more and more people visit these bargain stores for a variety of big brands and everyday products at reduced prices.
So, with more and more of us spending, ditching the designers for the guys at the 99p stores who buy in bulk and pass their discounts on to us, how would we feel if our Christmas list was replaced with items of low value? Are our changes in spending habits taking us back to a time where it really was the thought that counts or are we simply more aware of our consumer power and changing our habits to drive costs down?
Our entrepreneur of the year thinks that over the next 5 years our Christmas spending habits will be aligned to the rest of the year, with people keeping their spending to a minimum and offering token gifts that allow people to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas without the pressure of excessive spending, or the stress of finding yourself in debt from Christmas can bring.
We think that Christmas should be a time for love, for celebration and for gratitude and we hope that we can all find great joy in the simple things in life – most of which can be found in the company of your loved ones, the comfort of your home or in 99pShopper.