Feedback: The future of preschool retail

Faced with big name closures and ongoing media reports focusing on the the UK’s struggling retail market, PPS asks Claire Fisher, owner of Harmony At Home in Worthing for her perspective on the future of preschool retail.

On Store Closures

I don’t think the Toys R Us closure will affect us too much, but it does highlight how increasingly difficult it is to be in retail in the current climate. The Mothercare in our high street has closed.  They had huge premises and they would have faced very large rates from the council – something that is difficult for all of us. They increasingly had problems with customers using them as a showroom and then finding the best deal online – a problem that we also face.”

On Offering A Service

“I think grandparents who are buying a gift from us want service and convenience. They want to know that we’ll offer them great advice, help them to select a gift and then wrap it for them and they can buy a card.  A complete service and they really feel they have been looked after. For our younger customers who are usually parents, it’s price-driven most of the time.”

On Being Different

“We need to be constantly offering products that are different and unique, be very conscious of price and offering added value such as events. We have to spend more time on the online side of the business which can be very time-consuming and is getting increasingly tougher. It is completely necessary though, I don’t think any retailer can now survive without an online side to their business.”

On The Future

“I think things will get increasingly tough and we need to continually look at what we are offering consumers and adapt with the market. There are also a growing number of consumers who are fighting against the big companies like Amazon. They want to see their high streets survive and want to buy local. As a seller of quality wooden toys, we are seeing more customers who are opting out of buying mass-produced plastic toys. We see this as a very positive step.”

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