Q. As owner of the store how do you choose what you buy and sell?
Jo" I visit several trade fairs each year, sourcing new products and as gaps appear in the store with deleted brands etc I hunt out new ranges which fill a need."
Q. Has your buying evolved over time?
Jo" Yes definitely. Initially I could be persuaded to buy things which I liked but didn't love. Now I am staunch! I only buy what I would like for myself and I am driven by my own taste rather than trying to second guess other peoples."
Q. Do staff members have input on store ranges?
Jo " Yes sometimes a new range will be trialled by staff in store and on occasions I take staff to trade fairs with me. I find their input invaluable and respect their opinions. Buying is a tough game, you need to be considering so many elements, junior staff often struggle with this initially but get better at assessing ranges as time goes on."
Q.Do you have plans to travel this year on buying trips?
Jo " Yes I am off to Melbourne in July and Italy in September on buying trips with a little shopping for myself on the side!"
Q. Where do you see the future in retail?
Jo" Our customers love to shop in-store, they also increasingly take advantage of our website to ship when busy or out of town etc. Because shopping with us is such a sensory experience we are relatively immune to the challenge of web based stores. Keeping really excellent customer service standards is critical too in maintaining customer loyalty."