Mary Portas queen of independent shopsIt might be worth tuning into BBC2 at 9pm tonight, as Mary Portas will be visiting an independent retailer in Dorset in her TV series, Mary Queen of Shops.

Juliet and Chris Porter, of Clealls of Corfe Castle, bought the convenience store a year ago and when Mary arrives they are losing £6,000 a month. Why? Because they simply don’t understand what their customers want. They are selling five different varieties of canned peas when all her customers want is fresh vegetables.

The community see the couple as outsiders having moved from London to take over the store. The lack of integration into their local community, and their unwillingness to understand their customers’ needs means they are running their store into the ground.

This programme is almost certainly essential viewing for independent retailers to make sure you understand what not to do, and how to turn your business around if it is slipping.

If you’ve got any questions about how you can use Mary’s tips to help your store, then betterRetailing’s experts will be on hand to answer any of your questions – just leave a comment below.