‘Shops need to adapt oth­er­wise peo­ple will walk away’

The Scarborough News - - NEWS -

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

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