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Raise your sales by raising a smile

We all know this hasn’t been the easiest of years (tell me when it was easy), with most retailers going into Sale early and the number of vacant units increasing  on the UK’s high streets.

We all know this hasn’t been the easiest of years (tell me when it was easy), with most retailers going into Sale early and the number of vacant units increasing  on the UK’s high streets.

So what can us indies do to keep our feet firmly on the high street? First and foremost we need to understand the customer. Here at Charlie Barley, we try to make the customer smile. When we have a promotion we try to think of something fun to do.

For example, at Easter people had to hop to get 15% off (or type ‘Hopping’ at the online checkout on our website). As customers hopped into the store, it was great fun and made myself and the customers smile, resulting in higher sales.

I’ve heard a variety of ideas for increasing sales from others in the industry. John White, co-owner of Brighton young fashion indie Badger, advised asking your sales guy to provide staff uniforms, saying it is great for staff morale and helps push that brand.

Customer relations is also key, as the human race needs interaction with one another. That’s one of indies’ strong points. We don’t need to read ‘Greet your customer’ on a till, because we automatically do it.

And it’s not just about the attitude either. Indies have learnt a lot about pricing recently: you have to be competitively priced and price conscious.

In Brighton we’re lucky, as locals and visitors support the indies, maybe because we don’t have a great department store, so people naturally shop around.

However, indies have to be unique if they are to keep attracting customers, whether it’s with our fabulous customer service, cool products or just being competitively priced. But above all we will fight to stay on your high street.

  • Charlotte Wilkie is co-owner of kidswear indie Charlie Barley in Brighton

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