‘Shops need to adapt otherwise people will walk away’
A local business owner has said he is ‘delighted’ with The Scarborough News’ Love Your High Street campaign. Since the initiative was launched last month, we have been publishing weekly features on the town’s independent shops to inform readers on what there is on their doorstep and encourage them to support their local high street.
Bob Miller, owner of Black Dog Shops, runs two convenience stores in Filey and Hunmanby. Having first-hand experience of the struggles faced by small businesses, he appreciates our campaign to call for more help. He said: “We were delighted when the papers arrived in the shop that day. The campaign gives us a chance to feature our shops and tell people that, actually, there’s a lot happening on their local high street. Perhaps we can also remind them that if they don’t use their local shops we’re going to struggle to survive because if they take their shopping out of town, all those little shops won’t be there any more.”
The challenges imposed by online shopping and large supermarkets have spurred Mr Miller to think outside the box and the campaign is just another way to let people know about the new services offered by his business.
“Both shops have been completely renovated, we’ve put new fittings in and introduced new services. We have ATM machines in both shops, we have a Hermes parcel service so that people can come in to drop off parcels that they sold on the internet or for mail order returns and pick ups. We have the lottery, a full off-licence and we do deliveries.
“We always try to provide services that people need so people that don’t have time to wait for deliveries or can’t go to the post office to return their parcels, they can just come here. It’s quite handy for them because we’re open long hours.
“It gives them a reason to come to the shop and hopefully while they’re here they’ll have a look around and pick up some goods. “Banks are closing so we put in the ATMs and we find that people like using those because they’re inside and they feel safer.
“We do deliveries so that if people don’t want to shop online or can’t because they don’t have the internet, they can either phone up with a shopping order or they can come in, do their shopping and we’ll deliver it or they can come in, see what they want and leave us a shopping list. We’ve got quite a few old people or people that have just come out of hospital that do that.”
Without these extra services, Mr Miller admits that his business might struggle.
“I think you’ve got to adapt. We’re always looking for new things to add which is why we’ve added all these services that weren’t in our shop before. You’ve got to do that otherwise people will walk away and they’ll