Dumfries & Galloway

IMG_7686Sanquhar and Kirkconnel have been the latest towns in Dumfries & Galloway to benefit from a visit from The Shop Doctor.

Following a Let’s Talk Shop workshop on the evening of Monday February 10th February ten independent businesses requested one-to-one advisory visits.

Three businesses in Kirkconnel and seven in Sanquhar were subsequently visited with The Shop Doctor spending time with the owners discussing the business and assessing the retail environment, and how it functioned.

Each of the participating businesses will be receiving a comprehensive recommendation reports detailing opportunities to help drive retail vitality, including routes to improving presentation, layout, merchandising, lighting and customer service.

Each business participating in the current Let’s Talk Shop support programme is eligible for a £500 grant from Dumfries & Galloway Council to assist towards implementation of the recommendations made.

Newton Stewart is scheduled to be the final town to be visited in the current programme with an evening workshop scheduled for delivery on Monday 14th April and one-to-one visits in the days following.


Further information about the programme and opportunities for retailers in Newton Stewart can be obtained from grant.coltart@dumgal.gov.uk



IMG_6825The ‘Let’s Talk Shop’ Support Programme moves to Langholm, Dumfries & Galloway, from Monday 11th November.

Independent retailers in the town will be attending an evening retail workshop at the Town Hall on Monday from 5.30pm when The Shop Doctor will share his thoughts about how shops can ensure that first impressions deliver, rather than deter, customers and once they are across the threshold how retailers can maximise the selling opportunity through effective layout, merchandising and good service.

As part of the evening The Shop Doctor will also review his first impressions of Langholm and identify with the delegates attending  opportunities to help improve retail vitality in the town.

Independent retailers interested in attending should contact grant.coltart@dumgal.gov.uk

IMG_5706 compThe second stage of the latest Let’s Talk Shop Support Programme got underway on 7th October with a Shop Doctor Retail Masterclass being held in Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway.

Following the success of the first stage of the Programme delivered in Dalbeattie during September, 10 retailers in Thornhill recognised the opportunities being made available by Dumfries & Galloway Council and attended the evening masterclass.

In addition to the masterclass, The Shop Doctor is conducting one-to one advisory visits to participating retailers in the town with each business concerned having opportunity to apply for a £500.00 grant towards implementation of recommendations made during the visits and contained within the comprehensive Shop Doctor Recommendations Report that will be compiled for each shop.

Our Shop Doctor commented “the feedback from retailers in Dalbeattie has been excellent and reports are in hand for the 20 retailers involved” he went on to say “my visits are not about finding fault or delivering criticism, they are about seeking ways to make good businesses even better. They provide retailers with the confidence to implement recommendations based on good industry practice and my own wide experience of what works and what doesn’t.”

In November, the programme will commence in Langholm followed early in 2014 by Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart. In total, 70 independent retailers will be engaged within the the current Let’s Talk Shop programme in Dumfries & Galloway.

Copy of IMG_495720 independent retailers in Dalbeattie took advantage of the latest Shop Doctor Support Programme funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council.

One-to-one shop visits were conducted by The Shop Doctor during the two weeks following the well attended Retail Workshop held at Dalbeattie Town Hall on the evening of Monday 16th September.

Each shop visited will receive a comprehensive Shop Doctor Recommendations Report detailing individual opportunities believed capable of helping the particular  business concerned improve its retail vitality.

The Shop Doctor commented “the engagement with  retailers in Dalbeattie has been particularly refreshing. The retailers involved have been extremely open about their businesses and all demonstrated a keen desire to seriously consider implementation of the opportunities that will be identified in their individual reports.”

The next Town to benefit from the Shop Doctor Support will be Thornhill. The programme commences on Monday 7th October with a Retail Workshop for businesses in the town.

IMG_5616 sign compIndependent retailers in Dalbeattie town centre are being encouraged to enrol in the Let’s Talk Shop programme, a free course of specialised Shop Doctor support.

Bill Smith, the Shop Doctor, will be delivering his informative and motivational retail master-class, Let’s Talk Shop, to retailers on the evening of Monday 16 September 2013, starting at 5.30pm, in Dalbeattie Town Hall.

There are high hopes for a big turn out from town centre businesses. Business owners attending will have an opportunity to share ideas on how to enhance the economic vitality of independent retailers in Dalbeattie.

In addition to the master-class, up to 10 independent retailers in the town will qualify to receive an in-store surgery from The Shop Doctor enabling them to directly benefit from his specialised advice.

Each of the 10 shops enrolled for the one-to-one visits will also receive a comprehensive report focused on helping to re-energise each of the individual participating businesses. They will also be eligible for a £500 grant towards implementing recommendations made by The Shop Doctor. A follow-up check-up will be arranged 12 months later.

Business Gateway is supporting this initiative and will have experienced advisers available to promote to the retailers the wealth of services and courses they have to offer.

Councillor Ian Carruthers, Chair of the Council’s Planning, Housing and Environment committee said: “I would encourage all independent retailers in Dalbeattie to get involved in this programme. In many cases retailers won’t have to spend a fortune to benefit from the Shop Doctor’s advice.”

To register for the Let’s Talk Shop workshop or to find out more, contact Grant Coltart, Dumfries and Galloway Council, t: 030 33 33 3000, or email grant.coltart@dumgal.gov.uk

A further 70 independent retailers across 5 more towns in Dumfries & Galloway will now be receiving assistance from The Shop Doctor.

Following the success of the recent Shop Doctor Programmes delivered by Let’s Talk Shop Ltd in Dumfries, Annan, Stranraer, Gretna and Lockerbie the scheme has now been extended to provide support to shops in Dalbeattie, Thornhill, Langholm, Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart.

Let’s Talk Shop Ltd was successful in securing the contract for onward delivery of the programme which will take the number of shops now receiving Shop Doctor support in Dumfries & Galloway to 140.

Similar recent programmes in Argyll & Bute and East Lothian increase the number of independent shops involved with The Shop Doctor in Scotland alone to 160.

Let’s Talk Shop has recently been awarded the contract to work with Dumfries & Galloway Council, VisitScotland and 12 quality assessed Visitor Attractions across Dumfries and Galloway.

The intention of this pilot project is to add value to support to be delivered by VisitScotland who will be advising the attractions involved how to sustain and improve the quality of the visitor experience based upon their established Quality Assurance criteria.

Let’s Talk Shop will be focusing on identification of routes to improve overall business performance  and recommendation of areas for business improvement capable of delivering positive impact on both business vitality and the visitor experience.

“This is not just about enhancing any retail aspect within the attraction” advised Bill Smith of Let’s Talk Shop, “it’s about taking an holistic look at each of the attractions and identifying routes to enhance their vitality and opportunity for effective and profitable engagement with those visiting”

Dawn Hunter-Ellis of DHE Associates will be applying her valuable experience of the tourism sector by working in association with Let’s Talk Shop in the delivery of this project.