Dragon helps breathe fire into cash and carry concept
A CASH and carry boasting the "lowest prices in Europe" is set to open its flagship store on the fringes of Edinburgh later this month thanks to a "dragon" and a retail guru.
Housed in a 60,000 square foot depot at Newbridge, the BigOffers Discount Warehouse is the brainchild of two Capital business brains - BBC Online Dragon Shaf Rasul and Duncan Sutherland, former chief executive of Moss Bros - who have vowed to punt everything from designer clothing to home entertainment systems at trade prices.
On promotional fliers the new outlet is said to be offering 150 suits for 8.53, as well as iPod Nanos for just over 20.
Co-founder Mr Rasul, who has an estimated wealth of 80 million, tested the concept of a high-end, bargain-basement warehouse during a two-month trial run in Edinburgh last year and was impressed by its popularity.
The entrepreneur and investor said no other wholesalers in the UK could offer the same cut-price deals as BigOffers.
"There's no-one else doing anything like this," said Mr Rasul. "We will be offering the public goods at the same price we would charge the retailer."
Asked if the outlet would offer the best prices in Edinburgh, he replied: "It will offer the best prices in Europe and that's a guarantee."
Also spearheading the venture is retail sage Mr Sutherland, 53, one of the Matalan founders who has worked in the industry since he was 22 when he started out with Woolworths in Dundee, before moving to South Africa to pursue a career with Marks & Spencer.
Mr Sutherland explained how the budding company would undercut their rivals on price.
He said: "The prices will be loony. You may have to pinch yourself and that is because we buy excess stock from warehouses all around the world to sell here for nominal prices.
"If you take other cash and carries, we usually supply to them and they would put on their own mark-up. Here, we will be supplying directly to the individual customer as well as traders."
He added: "Given that everyone is strapped for cash right now, we decided what to do was to give phenomenal prices to customers.
"I was involved with Matalan after the last recession and that one wasn't nearly as bad as this one which hits right to the core because it involves the banking sector. Because this recession is worse, we decided that we can provide even better prices.
"I am very excited by this and think this is the way to go. Hopefully, this store will be the first of many."
The BigOffers premier store is opening on April 28 at Terston House, Huly Hill Road.
Depending on performance, the concept is expected to be rolled out nationally.
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