betterRetailing has been following one retailer right the way through the process of building a new store. In this week's column Mo's shop is finally open for business.
The launch of my Family Shopper store in High Blantyre was a fantastic experience and the first three weeks of trading has been above my expectations.
My new customers have been very supportive. In fact when I had a technical glitch with our broadband connection and needed a replacement ADSL filter a message on my Facebook page brought a rapid response.
Thanks go to Margaret Harper for her generosity in providing me with a replacement. Problem solved and we could start to take credit and debit card payments.
The other challenge to the business in the first three weeks has been the delay in getting an alcohol licence. This should be granted by the local authority licencing division at their last meeting of this year on Monday, 9th December.
I have been told that one of the other retailers in High Blantyre has opposed the application, but I have been getting a lot of support from our customers. They are telling me that they are looking forward to having another off licence to buy from.
That’s enough about the minor problems because the successes far outweigh them. First the new team of people that I employed to run the store are proving to be a real asset to the store.
They all quickly learn how I want them to work whether it’s at the counter or merchandising the sales floor. One of the ways that I am training them to talk to our customers at the counter is by having a series of give-aways for the first four weeks.
The first week we gave away 50 cases of orange juice and the second week it was 80 cases of biscuits. I encouraged my team to actively upsell the give-away and they have done it brilliantly.
The biggest seller of the first two weeks was been Irn Bru and have sold over 2000 2lt bottles of this Scottish favourite. Clearly at 74p we were offering it at a market beating price and it was amazing to see so many customers buying several bottles at a time.
But the message each customer was getting from this and the other low priced deals we have had on offer is that price is very much part of our offer to them. Even when this Iru Bru offer end we will still be offering it for £1!
The initial launch has gone remarkably well, but I can’t rest on this and there is a lot of hard work to do. My team and I have to promote the store and promote the deals we have. I want to continue to hear my customers tell me that they enjoying shopping at Mo’s Family Shopper so that means customer service is at the top of our list every day.