Shop Doctor  Lets Talk Shop Dumfries Galloway

Excellent street sculpture elements within the enhanced public realm in Lockerbie,  a great talking point.

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Of the retailers originally visited it is pleasing that all but one are still providing great service to the local and visitor community although the traditional haberdashery shop Wightmans is now an Opticians.

In addition the co-operative Project Art has recently relocated its displays into Elegance making way for a new venture in the double fronted premises being vacated by them by opposite the Town Hall. Indications of a new, and very appropriate, business venture opening soon.

Two of the businesses have also expanded their offering with additional ground floor space made available at Elegance (Gift Shop) and expansion to include the adjacent shop unit at Anne Maries (Fashion). Curvaceous has relocated to smaller, but no less suitable, premises and the refurbished Margaret’s (Post Office) is also looking great, as are all of the others businesses involved in the Let’s Talk Shop Programme.

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There are still  a number of empty units in high visibility locations but the town felt vibrant with the enhanced public realm in the town centre providing a pleasing  and visually attractive setting.

 

In Gretna all of the original retailers visited continue to provide to the needs of their community and great to see positive changes at Bliss (Hairdressers), McKenzies ( ex Post Office now gifts and cards), Springfield Post Office and J Kerr & Sons (Butcher). All businesses were holding their own against the draw of the nearby Gretna Gateway.

retail revitalisation, store survival

Aspatria Farmers Ltd is an agricultural co-operative formed in 1870 by a group of West Cumbrian farmers who were disillusioned with the quality of products they were being supplied and the service they received from the local agricultural suppliers in business at that time.

Since then they have diversified their product range into a number of sectors including domestic pet and equestrian supplies, household products, gardening, clothing (leisure, workwear, equestrian), footwear and amenity products (for use on golf courses, forestry, football pitches, industrial sites, etc).

What is not as well recognised as it might be is that Aspatria Farmers is open to the general public and that the values of “quality, service, price” established in 1870 continue to be upheld.

Change is in hand at Aspatria Farmers and our Shop Doctor will be working with them to help ensure that they successfully continue to meet the needs of their membership whilst maximising their retail store opportunities and reaching out to a wider customer base.

 

 

Let's talk shop retail revitalisation

Spending this week visiting 20 more retailers in Dumfries engaged in the Let’s Talk Shop Support Programme funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The Shop Doctor independent shops

Another very interesting selection of shops all contributing positively to the diverse range available in the town. More to follow.

Independent shops retail survival

 

New allergy labelling legislation

On 13 December, new legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011) will require food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged in, for example, catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars.

There will also be changes to existing legislation on labelling allergenic ingredients in prepacked foods. The Food Standards Agency have produced guidance to help businesses meet these new requirements which is available via the FSA website .

The FSA guide “What to consider when labelling food” is available here

Monaghans DumfriesAn evening retail workshop focusing on best practice in relation to visual merchandising and overall shop presentation is to take place on Monday 17 November at the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries.

In this latest visit to Dumfries, in addition to the workshop, the Shop Doctor will be working with up to 32 independent retailers who will not only be receiving an advisory visit in the new year, but a mystery assessment visit between now and Christmas.

This is the final stage of the Shop Doctor Support Programmes for Dumfries & Galloway Council that will have seen some 232 shops across 15 towns visited and in receipt of one-to-one advice since March 2012.

For further information, please contact Grant Coltart on grant.coltart@dumgal.gov.uk

Retail RevitalisationThere has been considerable activity in Whitehaven over recent months to assist retailers to recognise and maximise opportunities to attract and retain customers in the increasingly positive retail environment within the town.

Ensuring that shops present themselves in a manner that engages customer interest is a critical issue, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. To help identify such opportunities, The Shop Doctor has been invited to provide a Retail Workshop to retailers in the town focusing on key aspects of visual merchandising.

In advance of the workshop, The Shop Doctor will also be reviewing how customers might perceive the town and its shops. He will also engage retailers attending the workshop in discussions about issues that impact on the creation of positive first impressions and how any negative issues might be overcome.

The workshop will be taking place on Tuesday 11th November from 6pm until 8pm in the Education Suite at the Rum Story.

Spaces are very limited, so to enquire about availability, please e-mail Rachel.Rudd@cforlp.org.uk or call 01900 825213.

As part of the Dumfries & Galloway Business Week, our Shop Doctor presented the “Bricks with Clicks” workshop on Monday 27th October.  The presentation looked at the challenges facing online retailing and how shops might engage in the online opportunity.

The workshop included a formal PowerPoint presentation followed by a discussion about issues facing the retailers in attendance.

Feedback received since the workshop has indicated that the retailers attending the session found it informative and are intending to further increase their engagement online either through website development or active participation on social media platforms.

Fourteen of Moffat’s independent traders took part in the recent Shop Doctor support programme following the well-attended Masterclass on the evening of Monday 20th October.

An intriguing range of some of the town’s hidden gems were visited on the days following the Masterclass enabling our Shop Doctor to better understand the objectives of the individual traders and identify roots to help further improve their existing businesses.

Let's Talk Shop visits Moffat

Participating retailers included 17 Reasons, The Art Work Room, Brodies Restaurant & Wine Bar, Café Ariete, Carole’s Milk Bar, Chantillie House, Eclectic Emporium, Flowers by Fiona, Harvest Time, Manse Furnishings, Moffat Pottery, Pets Corner, Present Time and R. Little Bakers Ltd.

As with every other retailer visited in this programme, funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council, a comprehensive Shop Doctor recommendations report will be compiled, identifying the opportunities to help increase their trading vitality.

The next stage in the programme will be delivered in Dumfries from Monday 17th  November.  Retailers interested in participating should contact Grant Colthart at Dumfries & Galloway Council via Grant.Coltart@dumgal.gov.uk

Preparations are well in hand for another series of one-to-one advisory sessions with independent retailers in Dumfries & Galloway when the Shop Doctor visits Moffat in the week commencing October 20th.

These sessions will take place on the days following a Retail Masterclass which is being presented to retailers on the Monday evening.

Our Shop Doctor comments “With the challenges facing our High Streets still impacting on trading vitality, it is essential to ensure that individual shops and their towns as a whole recognise the importance of setting themselves aside from others by becoming destinations that enhance the customer experience”.

The Masterclass and subsequent visits will help those involved in the support programme to recognise and implement routes to maximising such opportunities.