Listening to the news, you might think retail is in a bit of trouble. Trading figures are down, many retailers are predicating tough trading times but I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, especially if you are an independent. The trick is to make your store a cool location and an inviting place to spend time. Do that and I honestly believe you will notice resurgence in foot traffic and takings.

Make it an experience. I talk about this so many times but as great as online is you don’t get the same opportunity to wow people as you do when you have a bricks and mortar space. Amaze people – whether that’s by offering the most incredible products to serving the coolest single estate lattes, to stocking never seen before labels – it needs to make jaws hit the floor!

Make everyone welcome. I can’t stand snobby shops – I really can’t. So make sure your store feels welcoming at all times. From popping bottles open at special events for your customers, to inviting people to browse, and filling your space with tactile materials and a comfy perch that make people want to linger longer.

Create a community hub. Our customers come in for a chat, some advice, a wander – yes the store is highly stylised and curated but we’ve created a space that is a community hub where people can pop in, say hi, buy or not buy – the focus is on the community and the relationships that we have with our customers. I for one feel that we really know our customers. We follow and interact with them on Instagram, and they are a major part of what we do and we get as inspired by them as they do by us!

Right, I need to run out of the door now. I’m off to Paris for a whirlwind one-day biz trip. Gem and I are going to take in the Maison & Objet show, fingers crossed we’ll find something fabulous! I’ll let you guys know if so, and also if there are any major trends to keep an eye out for. Just before I go, if there is any particular topic you would like me to cover in the biz column please let me know and I will try my best to weave it into the schedule. Have a great weekend all, see you again on Monday!

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