Shop Talk with Tracy West

30 November, 2015
Page 42 

I do hope you're not all fed up with Christmas already. It's lovely for us shoppers looking at all the festive displays, listening to the Christmas music and spending far too much money but not so for the shop workers, I'm sure. The media is always full of stories about fights over the last 'must-have' toy in the shop or even the last brussels sprouts.

It must be a nightmare at times, so well done to everyone in retail who puts up with us all. You might not have had fights over veg but I'm sure you've all had customer moans and groans to deal with.

Anyway, I'm afraid I'm still in my festive bubble and it was made more so recently by the fact that I had lunch in Pret a Manger.

Let me explain. While there eating a delicious tuna baguette, I noticed all the Thank You signage for their charity, The Pret Foundation, whose aim it is to alleviate poverty in the UK by 'breaking the cycle of homelessness'.

The Thank Yous were to customers for helping to raise 1.6m for the charity this year. It was certainly good to know that my munching on my baguette and sipping my Diet Coke was all contributing to a worthy cause.

I know a lot of you do your bit for charity but I wonder how good you are at communicating it to your customers?

I know it's bad form to boast about charity work but I think it's good to show that you're not all about making money, you're keen to give back too.

The Forecourt Trader of the Year Award winner Gloucester Services does an amazing job of donating a percentage of its revenue to local charities. But it makes sure its millions of customers know about this via a mural and gallery by publicising the work of the local charities so people can see what they actually do. It's a great idea as it might result in someone realising that a friend or relative could benefit from an organisation's help or even someone volunteering their time or their own money.

I think it's a powerful way of spreading the word, particularly at this time of year when it's meant to be a case of goodwill to all men.

So I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's hope this December is a busy, profitable period for you and your business, but that you also manage to have a rest and put your feet up. Cheers!

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Forecourt Trader continues to maintain its market-leading position as the major source of information for the petrol-retailing sector.

Targeted at independent retailers, all those connected to the industry seek out Forecourt Trader (magazine and website) for its strong mix of news, industry and retailer profiles, as well as scheduled features that cover all categories of a service station operation at length, on both the forecourt and shop side of the business. ...more »