It has been my aspiration to improve the look of our Ebbw Vale store for several years. As the largest store across our shop network, it attracts the greatest number of customers and supporters and I knew that we had to ensure everybody that came into the store left with a really positive impression of what the Hospice of the Valleys does.
As tenants in the building we could only make cosmetic improvements, customers have previously asked about us having a lift installed. But unfortunately this is not an option.
We were able to move forward with the redecoration thanks to the amazing support of Lloyds Banking Group volunteers who came in to redecorate the store. We then had the additional support of volunteers from DWP and GAP who helped visually merchandise the store ready to reopen.
It was a pleasure to work with local suppliers such as B K Fixings who were able to provide materials at cost price.
The new graphics and price points were designed by Sally Ann and her team at Limeface, to enhanced the redecoration and really bring the hospice philosophy to life and demonstrate the care and support that our dedicated team provide within the local community.
The price points really help customers to understand how their stock donations and purchases really make a difference. And also why signing up to gift aid can help us increase the value of their donated stock.
We could never have achieved what we did in such a short space of time without the amazing support and dedication from our shop volunteers. A lot of people are unaware that our shops are run solely by volunteers who work tirelessly and they really did go over and above to support the relaunch of the shop. It would be remiss of me to not say a huge thanks to Dawn and Richard who spent many long hours over the 5 refit days supporting me in getting so much completed.
The official relaunch of the store took place on Friday 3rd November. We were delighted that Ellie Tetley, who won Hospice UK Young Volunteer of the Year 2016 agreed to open the store for us. It was wonderful to welcome regular and new customers into the store and it was wonderful to hear the positive feedback.
Our strategy is to roll out some of the improvements within our other stores which are located across Blaenau Gwent. Within the Ebbw Vale store we are already experiencing an upturn in sales and also a better quality of stock being donated, so hopefully this will continue, allowing us to raise more funds for our much needed work across Blaenau Gwent.
As the Retail Manager I am really proud of what has been achieved within the Ebbw Vale store. As a charity we provide the very best quality of care to our patients and their families and I wanted this quality to be replicated through our shops as we are sometimes the first touch point that people have with the organisation.
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to the local community who support us and encourage anyone who hasn’t been visited to pop in and have a look around, hopefully you will not be disappointed.
Shaun Baker – Retail Manager