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Customer and community care is the secret to success

A village shop owner who has been trading on the same site for 30 years says giving local people extra care and attention when they shop in her store has helped to secure success.

Edwina Pennell, who runs the Nisa store in Frampton Cotterell near Bristol with her daughter, said sales at the 1,400 sq. ft. shop and shopper satisfaction are growing, despite constant changes and new local competition.

With latest annual figures showing sales growth of around 8% year on year, Edwina puts the success down to a loyal customer base and ensuring they respond to those shoppers in a changing landscape and giving their continued support back to the village.

“We have a lot of very loyal customers who have been using the store for many years and we try to provide them with the services they need that they can’t get anywhere else in the village,” she said.

The village has changed dramatically since Edwina first took on the store, but through focusing attention on shopper satisfaction and introducing goods and services only available in her store, shoppers remain loyal despite a growing choice locally.

Edwina said: “A Sainsburys Local opened a few years ago and so we have had to do something different to make sure people still come in here.”

Taking on the Post Office four years ago has ensured a prime role for the store in the village along with building on other key areas.

“Sales are up year on year and the Post Office is really helping that as people come in to use it for so many things. We have made a big play on greetings cards which do very, very well and definitely get people into the shop.”

Edwina said stocking products from two local bakery suppliers whose bread and cakes are very popular is also key as is the generosity shown to local charities and good causes.

“We believe we have a role to play in helping the community and we make donations through Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally fund regularly to support projects in the village. That allows us to engage with our customers and it helps to keep their custom.”