In the second Independent Achievers Academy visit of 2013, the IAA’s Caroline Cronin joined Red Bull’s Abby Dellow on a visit to Manny and Minal Patel’s Surbiton store to talk about the importance of doing something unique.

Key tips

  • Offer a range that directly responds to your customer demographic
  • Introduce promotions and link deals as a thank you to your customers for their loyalty. An initial hit on margin will be recouped in volume
  • Price-marked items give customers confidence that they’re getting a good price

Manny has created a promotional zone, but admits that he needs to build on this. Abby suggests that working with suppliers to create promotions can make implementing them a lot easier, as they can often provide supporting PoS.

Abby commends Manny on his soft drinks chiller, particularly on his tight ranging and the prominence of new products. “Highlighting new products is vital if you want to catch customers’ eyes and encourage them to buy,” she says.

Manny prides himself on stocking the right products for his customers, and explains how this forms an important part of his customer service. A Pick ‘n’ Mix sweet selection is one of the talking points of Manny’s shop; it attracts local children and uses old fashioned ‘penny sweet’ pricing. “Little touches like this give the shop a personal and premium feel, which is the foundation of excellent customer service,” says Abby.

“This visit has really made me think. Suppliers like Abby have access to information that we can’t get ourselves, so combining that with our own knowledge is the ideal way to learn and grow,” says Manny.

To find about more about getting involved, visit iaacademy.co.uk. You can enter your business into the 2013 awards here