Gemma Lessinger is a buyer for Ann’s Cottage Surf Shops, which has nine stores in Cornwall.
Summer has arrived, and with it a real sense of optimism. The positive outlook for the UK economy, along with rising business and consumer confidence, led to a successful Easter period for Ann’s Cottage Surf Shops. This was helped all the more by the wall-to-wall sunshine, which put a smile on everyone’s face.
The storms earlier this year devastated the Southwest’s main train line, which had us and many other retailers in the area understandably concerned.
The UK retail industry is greatly affected by the weather, and this holds particularly true in our location. The forecast has a huge impact on our business. Thankfully, the region recovered extremely well, which meant people could make a last-minute decision to come down for a break.
Easter can be a particularly unpredictable time for us - just think back to last year when it felt like deepest, darkest winter.
However, this year the sun shone brightly on Cornwall and customers started to think about their summer wardrobes, leading to our new season collections selling fast.
As the quick turnover created space, we were able to react by launching and trialling short-order brands new to us. Being able to
buy these in small volume meant they could sit alongside our pre-ordered stock and keep our stores looking fresh.
An evolving shop floor with a constant flow of stock meant our seasonal customers kept coming back to see what new items we
had throughout their holiday.
This successful period meant we could delay our mid-season Sale, keeping the stores stocked with the latest product at full price.
The unexpected good weather also gave us the confidence to take more risks and try something different.
We are always reacting and adapting to the changing weather patterns and we are now optimistic and looking forward to the next
few months as we head into the peak summer season.
Come rain or shine, we will be ready.