A retailer’s role is to sell, sell and sell, but there are so many variables to consider.

There are recommended industry practises to think about, but it’s also important to embrace a certain amount of trial and error – because these are the things that set will your store apart.

Even once you have your offering near perfect, you need to keep aiming for perfection. This is because a frequently changing, interesting offer is the constant that makes shoppers excited and builds customer loyalty.

Retailer: Christine Hope

Store: Hopes of Longtown

Location: Longtown, Herefordshire

My strategy has always been that when certain lines do not sell fast, they need to be removed or offered at a reduced case rate to the customer.

However, it’s really interesting to note we have a few lines that are only purchased by customers once a year. And this is when we hear the magic words “I couldn't find it in Tesco or Waitrose – your store has everything!”

Christine Hope Christine Hope

In reality we don't have everything. We just have a few well-chosen lines that bring customers back because we understand their lives and expectations. Like every store, we stock these lines in the slow moving areas of the shop.

So go on – challenge yourself and ask: do I have any lines that despite being in the slow moving area of my store, actually breed customer loyalty and are among the most talked about products I have?

Our top line for this type of product would be silver polish – if only I had found this out before Christmas! Also, after a taste testing of only 30 customers last Saturday for a naturally fermented echinacea drink, sales are up 100%.

So engage with your customers and let them try the occasional “odd product” too. By offering an interesting, frequently changing offer, you give yourself the chance to constantly improve profits.