What is the most successful idea you’ve ever tried out in your business?
I had a rethink about our product range three years ago. As a result, I have key lines at really good prices, I pricemark some products – and sales have grown by 28%.
What is the best advice you have received?
The customer isn’t just looking for a product; they are looking for a service. Focus on service, products and good will and you’ll do well.
Who is your retail inspiration?
Believe it or not, it’s Gerald Ratner. He screwed up and it cost him everything, but then he came back, was humble, and now he has the second most successful online jewellery business. Even if you screw up, you can bounce back.
What do you think is the biggest missed opportunity that independent retailers should cash in on?
Fresh food and bakery. Customers are looking for fresh food, but retailers don’t think of it as an important category. Without those two categories you can only have so much sales success.
What’s next for your business?
We’ve just started looking at solar energy. We have to be careful because of the cost, but we have been in growth for the last five years, despite the recession. We are also looking at our water consumption and are speaking to a couple of companies. And we want to put timers on chillers so we don’t have to manually turn them on and off