Business empires strike back for Store Wars
TWO businesses joined forces with local hospices, taking over charity shops in order to raise money for charity.
The retail challenge, dubbed Store Wars, raised more than £11,000, with Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Helen and Douglas House charity shops across South Bucks benefitting from the scheme.
More than 80 staff members from John Lewis, in High Wycombe, and 30 from Natwest, also in High Wycombe, came together in teams of 10 to compete for the highest increase in profit in one day.
The winning team, comprising six John Lewis and four Natwest staff members, was in charge of Rennie Grove’s Beaconsfield shop.
Through a combination of fundraising and sales, they brought in £1,786, six times more than an average day’s takings for the shop.
Rennie Grove director of retail Deborah Gould said: “The team taking over our Beaconsfield shop had the great idea of extending stock to include bedding plants for the duration of their day with us.
“The colourful display attracted lots of passing trade and definitely increased footfall.”
The teams could come up with other fundraising ideas before, during and after their takeover so their income generation was not limited purely to sales.
In addition, they had to undertake all the chores that the charities’ shop teams manage on a daily basis, such as steaming clothes, attaching price tags and taking payment.
The teams took over Rennie Grove’s shops in Beaconsfield, Bourne End, Flackwell Heath, Holmer Green and Princes Risborough and Helen and Douglas House shops in Beaconsfield, Chalfont St Peter, High Wycombe, Marlow and Princes Risborough.
John Lewis operations manager David Donovan said: “Store Wars was a wonderful opportunity for partners to share their expertise with the local community, as well as a creative way for them to develop commercial and leadership skills,” while Caroline Nightingale of Natwest said: “Taking over the charities’ shops for the day enabled us to learn and put into practice some of what our customers do day in day out in running their own businesses.”
TAKEOVER: John Lewis staff Francis Berner (left) and Dan Hucker with Beaconsfield shop manager Angela Leighton