So a month after going on line which has been absolutely amazing and stressful in equal measure for me and the team I’m faced with Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend which is always a dilemma in the shop and a double dilemma now we are online to.
What do we small independents on the high street do? There’s a fear factor of having to conform to the normal and compete with the big boys but that’s just crazy offering 50% off and in some instances doing it for all of November!?!? If we, and most independents did this we would be bust by Christmas... So that can’t work for us and as you know we are not one for sales for many reasons and I’ll tell you about that another time. The other school of thought is we don’t do anything then we have the risk of having a really slow period which can be equally be bad for business especially online as we grow this area of our business. But to temper that we don’t know either way???
I guess the challenge is; how do we voice to the local community and wider audience now we are online the importance of buying from the independents this Christmas and throughout the year. Well, we think we do this by having great products, fantastic finds and at a price that’s right which we think we have. Plus this BFCM we are going to put a collection of Christmas and gift products on sale through our website and instore to see how it works and analyse the data to really understand the implications to make a more informed decision going forward.
Finally, as I don’t want to lose you here writing reams which I could on this subject but I think we have to really focus on the crux here and look at our high streets and I can only talk for mine which includes the surrounding villages. We have amazing independents here that work tirelessly to create a high street with a great variety and a welcoming feel and we have to work together to create a community and bring people through our doors or online which is not a given right of ours without the right service, products and price but we are lucky as I think we have all this. In the New Year we will be looking to bring some of our ideas to our friends on the High Street to see how we can work together a little better perhaps for each other and the good of our High Street. Our first initiative is Santa’s postbox which has been great and seeing the little ones faces talking to their parents whilst posting had been great and will hopefully resonate with them when they think of the High Street when the are older. I think we can all spread the word of shopping with the independents this Christmas to start with and then in 2018 build this spirit across the High Streets in the UK and think more sensibly and with proper analysis on BFCM...