Disneyland is a destination, the Tower of London is a destination and your shop can be a destination also.

You just need to think outside the box a little. Our thoughts on creating Lambs Larder as a destination rather than just a place to shop was borne out of a recent road closure that resulted in a 60% drop in trade.

We got to thinking, that if we were a destination, people would take the trouble to use the diversions and still visit us rather than just going to the next shop down the road. We thought: “How can a convenience store become a destination.” The answer for us was to make our store a place to go where you could engage others in a hobby or activity for free. We chose chess!

chess-lambs-larderWe set up a quality chessboard with timing clock and score sheets and allocated seating space in the store for people to play for as long as they like. We then set up an availability board where players could write down their available times to play and others could essentially book the table with that player at that specific time.

It works well. People come to the shop to play chess, not just to shop. Obviously while playing, they tend to purchase coffee and pastries to keep their hunger at bay and this adds to our take.

cyclists-lambs-larderThe other thing we did was to erect signage alerting cyclists that we had coffee and cake. Our shop is now a regular destination for cyclists every weekend with several stopping for lunch and joining in conversation on our outside seating.

Both of these initiatives have increased public awareness of our store and in turn that has shown in increasing revenues week on week. Having the chess players and cyclists regularly visiting also creates a real community feel to our business that the big supermarkets could never match.

So, from a potentially devastating loss of trade through a road closure, we are now stronger than ever with additional loyal customers to add to our already vibrant community.

Learn more about how Peter spots new opportunities when he gives his key note talk at the Local Shop Summit on Wednesday 14 October.

Call 020 7689 0600 to register your interest.