I know there is a lot of flack going on around the Portas Pilots and that people are quoted to say that Mary Portas is a jumped up celebrity only interested in herself as she ‘waltzes’ into boarded up areas and offers ‘tired ideas’ and is not truly passionate about the shop owners once the camera stops rolling – see this article here by the Daily Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/376657/Mary-Queen-of-shops-failed-to-save-our-stalls
Well I have a different opinion to those disgruntled stall holders and shop owners: GET OVER YOURSELVES!
Having done face to face surveys to independent retailers on their marketing mix, there is a strong divide: half really want to know more about social media, PR and basic marketing techniques in order to boost their footfall whereas the other half bluntly and sometimes proudly declare they have no interest in learning how to encourage more customers into their empty shops.
We have found that the people who are well and truly are stuck in their ways seem to have a certain inevitability that one day soon they will have to shut up shop as they haven’t moved with the times to engage their customers.
Alex Pollizi in The Fixer time and time again has to counter negativity with the shops she deals with and often has head locking battles with the shop owners to try to get them to come out of the wood and actually see the trees from a distance as opposed to being right in the thick of it and never changing ‘the way we have always done things’. She has a long upward hill battle to convince the owners that her suggestions will work and benefit the shops, but she is often tearful at the impressive results when the shops do their refit/change mentality.
Now you are thinking well you need budgets of thousands of pounds to do all that. NO YOU DON’T. You can get quick wins by doing some simple change arounds in the shop – take a look outside your shop. Are there filled bin liners outside? (Yes we have a local tattoo parlour which has over flowing bin liners right outside the shop door – now what does that say for cleanliness?) Is your A board looking tired with peeling paint? Have you cleaned the shop fascia lately? Does condensation on the windows block passer byers from viewing your shop? (I see so many shops and cafes with this problem and a simple solution is spending under £10 on anti-condensation spray) Could you invest in a pot of paint, roll up your sleeves and repaint your shop fascia?
All these are low to no cost ideas that every shop needs to take notice of which will result in:
- standing out from the crowd
- giving a higher perceived value to your offer (if you sell luxury gifts and the outside of your shop is tired it won't give people confidence to come inside and part with their money
- you will attract your target audience
I could continue with once you are actually inside the shop but this blog is getting a life of its own and growing already!.....
Now back to Mary’s market traders in Bow – I am sure there was half and half interest in what Mary Portas could do, but the piece has hit the papers because negativity sells. We need a Shops Motivating Guru and you are looking right at her! …Well see my Gravatar below!
We had a retailers meeting two nights ago as Promote Your Shop is leading the Independent Retailer Month Easter Egg Hunt in Colchester and how refreshing to have a room full of happy smiley people who really want to make a difference to our town by:
• getting to know one another, partnering up, and understanding what each other sells
• sharing the expense on leaflet printing and drops and other marketing initiatives
• and best of all to have monthly meet ups where new and old ideas are bashed about and generally supporting each other
Check out our website: www.promoteyourshop.co.uk
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