This time of year is perfect for working with the community. Halloween was a massive occasion, but most retailers don’t really engage with it. It presented a big sales opportunity and we had the staff dress up and give out cakes. The kids loved it.
The kids that come into our store look up to our staff and they always have a laugh with them.
That’s why in the run up to bonfire night I gave the staff a couple of bullet points to make the kids aware of the importance of safety with fireworks.
A couple of lines is all you need because kids’ concentration levels aren’t always the highest. Not everything about running a store is about creating sales, but about caring for the community.
A boy on a bike once got knocked over outside our shop. We were first on the scene, phoned the ambulance and paid for the bike repairs. We then bought the child a box of chocolates and a get well card from the staff. I’d expect anyone to do that. We do it because we want to and it’s the right thing to do.
This is a good time of year to shout about your business and get involved with the local community.
In the long term this will help your business because if you’re looking out for your customers, they will look out for you.
We’re currently giving away any leftover Halloween stock to children who come into the shop. We don’t have much, but I’m not one for hoarding products like that and we’re getting in our Christmas range now anyway, so we need to make room for it on the shelves.
Parents see you do things like that for their children and think to themselves: “That’s a nice shop and they do good things”.
We’re looking at opening a new store in the December, about 10 miles away from Belle Vue in Middlesbrough. That’ll be my fourth store and it’s got good potential.
We’ll get Christmas out of the way and then see what we can do with it in January.