IMG_3040One of the recommendations made following my visit to The Old School, Dumfries earlier in the year was the need to enhance awareness of activities being undertaken inside the building.

Located slightly away from the town centre, the premises themselves delivered little indication that they provided accommodation to an interesting variety of small businesses.

It was pleasing to receive today the following comment and photographs from  Rachel Speedie of The Art Room, one of the businesses operating in The Old School building.  Rachel is helping to coordinate improvements to business vitality within the building.

I just wanted to show yOLd Shool Dumfries; Retail Revitalisation, The Shop Doctor; Let's Talk Shop; Retail Survival;  customer journey; visual merchandisingou what got installed today at The Old School in Dumfries,  apparently they can be seen from Brooke Street, but also DGOne & the Lidl traffic lights too!  

So THANK YOU!! None of this would have been possible without you…Rachel”

hThe Shop Doctor; Let's Talk ShopThe entrance to the premises are to the left-hand side of the building, immediately  off the access road to the customer car park.

Signage has also been installed on this facing of the building, further developing the opportunity to inform a wider audience about the presence of this small oasis of business activity.

Other businesses involved are: Blusha, Make-Up and Hair Specialist;  NonaLou’s Tea room, Cafe and Coffee Shop; Dumfries School of Dance; B Beautiful by Beth and Brighteye Design & Branding.

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

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






Fourteen businesses in Kirkcudbright enrolled in the Let’s Talk Shop Support Programme delivered week commencing 15th September.

The businesses involved were:
Kathryn King Designer Jewellery 
Belfry Cafe
Kirkcudbright Working Print Studio
Tongland Family Golf Centre
Thomson & Dunbar Electricians
Wm Law
A&E Kennedy
All Natural Me
Masterpiece Sandwich Bar
Lindsay Line
Tolbooth Crafts 
The Wee Wardrobe

IMG_1846Each business will receive a comprehensive report from The Shop Doctor summarising containing recommendations providing opportunities to revitalise trading opportunities. In addition, a grant of £500 is available from Dumfries & Galloway Council to assist toward the implementation of any of the recommendations made.

Independent retailers in Moffat wishing to participate in the programme to be delivered week commencing 20th October should contact Grant.Coltart@dumgal.gov.uk

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.

Less than a week to go before “The Shop Doctor” visits Annan to commence a “Let’s Talk Shop” Retailer Support programme funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council.

The programme commences on the evening of Tuesday 26th June with a retail masterclass identifying issues felt to impact on the retail vitality of shops in the town. The presentation will include examples of The Shop Doctors first impressions of Annan and its shops together with examples he has observed from other areas.

In the days following the presentation ‘one to one’ in store sessions are being arranged with an initial base of 12 shops  being visited. During these sessions  The Shop Doctor will looking closely at each of the businesses and developing individual solutions to help each  improve their retail vitality.

The programme follows work recently undertaken by The Shop Doctor with 24 shops in Dumfries where the response to the very individual assistance was extremely well received.

Retailers interested in attending the masterclass or participating in the programme should contact Beverley Bamford via email at beverley.bamford@dumgal.gov.uk

The Shop Doctor will be following up his recent work in Dumfries with a similar programme of masterclasses and ‘one to one’ shop visits in Annan and Stranraer following submission of a succesful tender to Dumfries & Galloway Council.

The Let’s Talk Shop programe commences in Annan on 26th June, and that for Stranraer later in the year. 

A return visit to Millom will also be taking place in response to requests for expert help from the Millom & District Business forum, which consists of town centre traders who meet monthly.

Following a review of the town an evening workshop presentation entitled ‘I’ve not shopped here before, but I’ll certainly be back.’ will challenge retailers to think about ways to make the shopping experience in Millom a memorable one for all the right reasons.

For further information about this event click here

In Cheshire East evaluation of the ‘Shopping Experience’ will be the focus of forthcoming visits by the Shop Doctor to Knutsford, Sandbach, Disley, Macclesfield, Alsager, Congleton and Middlewich and delivery of a further programme of retail masterclasses focusing on the findings of the Shopper Experience research and identifying ways to make  good experience even better.

More information will be posted about all of these exciting projects focussed on revitalising the retail economy of the  towns involved as it becomes available.