Get yourself record takings

At first glance, there might not seem to be any direct links between your store and the much-maligned local record shop.  Different customer base, differing priorities, different style of shopping, different locations.

But a recent article on Real Business http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/19088-a-lesson-for-the-high-street-taught-by-independent-record-shops draws some great parallels that I think convenience store owners can think about.

 <figcaption>Independent record stores are making a comeback</figcaption>” width=”192″ height=”192″ /> Independent record stores are making a comeback</figure><p>The article quotes Stephen Godfroy, co-owner of Rough Trade, perhaps the most famous of the proud independent record shops in the UK.</p><p>Two things that he says in the article resonated with me. Firstly:</p><p><span style=“Fundamentally, we place the right value on past, present and future to successfully represent and serve each.”

Do you do this? Are you aware of the customers coming into your store, and what they are looking for? In the average day you will serve everybody from 8-80 – the past, the present and the future of your store.

If your store is well established your customers will thrive on this. Images of the store from days of yore could help market your store as an ever-present reliable community hub. But you also need to talk about the things that you do right now to make your customers feel like a part of that very community.

And secondly:

“We’ve deliberately made our stores community hubs, ‘third places’ in between work and home, where curious minds of all ages enjoy spending their time in. But it’s obviously not simply serving great coffee. It’s recognising that purchase is just one per cent of a richer experience.”

Is your store a pleasant place to spend time? A lot of your customers might be grab-and-go, instant need shoppers, but it’s likely that a lot of your shoppers don’t know when they enter your store what they want to buy.

While they are browsing, they want to feel safe, comfortable and welcome.

You don’t necessarily have to become a coffee shop (although the rise of Subway or Costa concessions alongside convenience stores is showing that this is perhaps a really profitable way of getting people through your doors), but what you do have to do is make your store an inviting experience.

Record stores are enjoying a real renaissance on the High Street even as sales of digital downloads shoot through the roof. There may not be direct parallels that you can copy, but there are definitely ideas that could help you survive and prosper.


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