Retail Consultant Mark O’Dolan has been mentoring Louise Ellison, owner of Lulu’s boutique to improve business processes and sales strategy.
Lulu’s, located in Waterloo Court, is a womenswear boutique selling an array of ladies clothing, footwear and accessories with a distinctive casual style inspired by country and coastal living, with lifestyle brands such as White Stuff, Brakeburn, Braintree and Nomads.
As part of an initiative funded by Test Valley Borough Council and the Andover Town Centre Partnership, Mark recently delivered a course of Retail Management training and has since been assigned with providing retail consultancy support to a selection of local businesses.
Mark selected Lulu’s as he could see so much potential in the boutique, he explains: “Here you’ve got a beautiful little boutique, but it’s tucked away down an alleyway away from the main high street and Louise is very conscious that there are so many people that don’t even know the shop is there.”
“She has done a fantastic job of creating a lovely shopping experience, with some great products, all at really reasonable prices, but their biggest problem is footfall, so that was our first challenge.”
After reviewing every aspect of the business in depth, Mark and Louise have analysed the findings and developed an action plan to improve business processes, drive footfall and increase sales.
The first strategy has been to improve awareness of the shop by using social media channels, along with staff handing out flyers on the high street to direct potential customers down the alleyway. The second has been to launch a flash sale over half-term week with some fantastic bargains in store, including £20 off wax style winter coats, £10 off faux fur scarves and headbands and 3 for 2 on jewellery, perfect for those starting to think about christmas presents.
Louise is pleased with the results so far.
“I really enjoy sourcing and buying products I know my customers with love and nicely merchandising it in the shop, but there’s so much more to running a business than that. And as an independent retailer you don’t have the backup that a large high street chain has in terms of financial support, marketing or buying power, so it’s great to have advice from someone who has significant experience in that area.”
“The advice that Mark has given me over the last few weeks has been brilliant; he is now acting like my Area Manager, checking in with me each week to check how things are going, reviewing the figures, and adjusting out strategy accordingly to help meet our targets. I’m looking at the business side of things in a completely different way.”
Mark is looking for other businesses to work with in the area and is currently offering a reduced hourly rate, so if you are interested in please call him on 07951022907