The two series of BBC TV show Mary Queen of Shops, the second of which was broadcast during the summer, featured some gems of inspiration and ideas which could be developed by retailers to improve sales in their store.
One of these ideas was to incorporate young creative talent into a retail environment, and over the past few months I have been meeting with and talking to young designers – hopefully in a less brutal way than the show’s presenter Mary Portas does – about exactly this.
So in our small young fashion department, labels such as Lipsy will sit with beautiful customised charity shop goodies and unique pieces from young graduate designers.
It’s a great bonus for our customers to be able to buy special pieces created just for our shop. It is important for designers to advise on and get involved in the selling of their product in the store, even if it is only on a Saturday, as creativity must meet commerce to make financial sense.
Feedback from the general public on these pieces will be invaluable to both designer and retailer. It will also provide the opportunity to meet the creative talent behind the garment and hear the stories of how a coat took a designer and her grandma 100 hours to knit, or how they handmade their swing tickets. How special would it make you feel to know your items were one-offs?
It will be a stimulating experience to have these creative young people on the Sunday Best team. Imagine the great press opportunity and boost in sales for retailers and designers that the collaboration could spark.
Jan Shutt is the owner of Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Lancashire