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Video: High street is ‘right location’ for retailers

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The owner of a textile firm who moved his head office to Stamford has praised the town centre, saying it is an ideal shopping location.

Chris Tattersall opened The Wool Room in Star Lane in September after starting his business online.

Despite challenging economic conditions and a location slightly away from the High Street he soon found business was booming and moved his head office to Stamford as well.

Last week Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce revealed plans to set up a “town team” inspired by retail guru Mary Portas, to try and rejuvenate the town centre.

But Mr Tattersall thinks Stamford is an ideal location for an independent retailer.

He said: “Without a doubt I would recommend Stamford town centre. It is a great tourist destination.

“Stamford is the right location in terms of demographic. We are a big supporter of the high street.”

While The Wool Room started out as a web-only business, Mr Tattersall soon realised the value of a presence in the town centre.

He added: “We want to offer something different. We want to offer a shopping experience.

“Why have big businesses failed? Maybe they are not adapting to the times.

“We aim to have a ‘bricks and clicks’ strategy. John Lewis and the Arcadia group are doing something similar.

“We have a small shop but we are working with online. A lot of people do research on the website then come into the store and are able to touch and feel the products.

“That is really important. It is quite a considered purchase. People also come in to collect orders.

“The two have got to work hand in hand.”

Mr Tattersall also values the combination of a well-designed website and well-trained staff.

He said: “Customer service is key. People are looking for knowledgeable staff at point of sale and a well thought out, informative site online.”

Mr Tattersall admits the location of his shop, in a new building in Star Lane, is challenging for business as many people don’t recognise the address.

But he is confident that with the right mix of quality product, knowledgeable staff and accessible website success can be found on the high street.

Last week we found 17 empty shop fronts around Stamford town centre.

One of those may soon be occupied though, as Jon Kerr, of Elton, has been granted planning permission to turn the former Fenn Wright Manson shop in High Street into a coffee
 shop.

According to the application, the shop would be a “locally owned, bright and airy new coffee shop, offering a range of home-made cakes and light snacks, Fairtrade coffee and tea, and a range of drinks aimed at keeping youngsters happy.”

Deloitte, which was appointed administrator to Blockbuster, the DVD chain, earlier this month, announced on Saturday that the company’s stores in Ironmonger Street, 
Stamford, and the Burghley Centre, Bourne, would stay open for now.

 

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