Industry initiatives helping independents to prosper

Local Stockport retailer Paul Mayne opened the Two Roses convenience store in Hawk Green in 2004 having had no previous experience in retail. And after implementing the Take Home Blueprint his sales are up by 25% on his opening figures.

Eighteen months on and he is looking to open his second shop, with plans for a third, and he puts it all down to the success achieved through the support of FWD industry initiatives – the Take Home Blueprint and the My Shop Is Your Shop campaign.

Paul explained: “I previously owned a building company, but when this convenience store came onto the market I could see instantly all the opportunities there were to develop this into a really successful business.

“As a shop owner, I can’t help but get involved with the community. Everyone knows the shop and stops by for a chat or to catch up with friends – it has become a real focal point for the village. I feel as a local business owner it is my responsibility to get involved, encourage community spirit and help to look after the area.”

Initial sales were good, however, until the post office next door closed down removing passing trade. That was when Paul decided that introducing an off licence would help revive sales and keep not just his shop, but all the neighbouring village shops, which did not want go the same way as the post office.

“The help the Blueprint gave me was a lifesaver as they not only gave me hands-on-help in laying out the fixtures, but made recommendations on what brands to stock and in what volume. When you walk in the store the effect the merchandising has on customers is incredible. Everyone comments on how smart and professional it looks and how easy it is to see the whole range of fixtures. It has allowed me to build a reputation as being a quality off licence.”

He was introduced to the Blueprint scheme through his wholesaler, Parfetts Cash Carry, which has also been supportive in the My Shop Is Your Shop campaign, encouraging Paul to get involved and promote the indispensable service his shop provides for the local community.

Through his store Paul is able to help the elderly and the sick in the area with a delivery service for those who can’t get to the shop.

He has also joined the local residents’ association, which helps organise events for the community with all the proceeds put back into the local area.

“With the addition of the off licence I hope I can now fully cater for all the needs of the local community. Being open seven days a week you get to know the local people really well and know their ups and downs so you can look out for them and make an effort in any way you can.

“The My Shop Is Your Shop campaign is great – it recognises the important role local shops like mine play in their communities and is helping to promote the hard work that we all do.

“It all contributes in helping to promote my store and increase sales, which continue to improve day by day. In fact, since the Blueprint came in my overall sales have gone up 25%.”

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