The Shop Doctor is currently working on a project  to assist Cheshire East Council identify opportunities to improve the shopping experience in the ten market towns involved in the Love Local Life Loyalty Card initiative.

The Shop Doctor is assessing the physical experience of shoppers in the towns  and also evaluating the effectiveness of their on-line presence and how it might be more effectively utilised to attract increased shopping activity to each of the towns.

The final report will highlight issues  impacting on the shopping experience and propose recommendations that will help inform future initiatives to help maintain and develop retail vibrancy in towns across the County.

The towns involved are Alderley Edge, Alsager, Bollington, Congleton, Disley, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Sandbach and Wilmslow.

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.

8 independent businesses in Knutsford directly participated in the most recent round of Shop Doctor surgeries funded by Cheshire East Council on 29th & 30th November.

‘One to one’ in-store surgeries were focused on helping retailers maximise additional opportunities within their existing businesses and how to achieve this in a cost effective way.

“All too often opportunities to maximise the impact of  a business,  its appeal to the customer, and how existing fixtures and fittings  can be more effectively utilised, positioned and merchandised can easily become overlooked” commented The Shop Doctor adding “During my surgeries I prompt retailers to take a look at their business from the customer perspective,  recognise how small changes can  help deliver significant benefits and how, by applying simple concepts regarding  how customer ‘shop the shop’, it is possible to increase unit sales”

A Retail Masterclass was also included within the programme and this was delivered by The Shop Doctor on the evening of the 30th.  Attendees at the Masterclass also received information about the CORA World Host Customer Service programme being delivered by the Cheshire Oaks Retail Academy.

Shops visited included, Roberta Beauty Redefined, Papa’s Tailoring, Raw Sienna, Aunty Mabel’s Seat, Clarity Contemporary Jewellery, The Orange Orchard, Polished Glass and Cherry Tree

Whilst in Knutsford The Shop Doctor also looked in on Cooks Emporium, Stephen Edwards Electrical and EmsOriginals

I certainly experienced some excellent shops, superb skills and undoubted entrepreneurship during my visit to Knutsford, a town well worth visiting.

Residents and businesses across Cheshire East are benefiting from the increasing reach of the innovative and rewarding Love Local Life Loyalty Scheme.

The scheme is supported by Cheshire East Council who have recognised the opportunities that such a scheme can deliver and how it can be further developed to provide a single source of information and reward capable of effectively promoting local businesses and council services and facilities.

The innovative scheme is built around a  local discounts and rewards card which offers residents savings  across Cheshire East! The scheme provides the best way to save when shopping locally, and can be used when eating out, buying gifts, keeping fit, using local business services and much much more.