Three local retailers say they have found the antidote to the High Street shopping decline, Mypad, Morton & Morton and The Loving Chair company have joined together to create a shopping experience which is already paying dividends.
Local interiors shop Morton & Morton in St Peter’s village, has been in business since 2000 at their site in St Peter’s village. They have now let out two showroom areas within their building to local online retailers Mypad and The Loving Chair company. Owner, Tim Morton says that in the current difficult trading environment retailers have to work together to offer more but at the same time reduce costs: ‘The retail world is a very different place to what it was five or six years ago so you can forget historical trading figures. This is the way the world is, you have to adapt and change. Survival is the new success story in retail. We are offering more under one roof to attract more customers. It’s a symbiotic relationship, we all feed off each other and it appeals to a broader audience.’
Paul Clark from Mypad.je has been running his furniture business as an online retail concept, but decided to open a showroom at Morton & Morton primarily to focus on the large range of upholstery in both fabrics and leather. ‘Although the website has been doing really well, there are some customers who prefer to come and touch and feel a product before they buy. Taking a showroom space within Morton & Morton has enabled us to have a physical presence, but at a fraction of the overheads of a traditional retail outlet. Working together means we are able to reduce costs and attract more customers, that has to be good for everyone.’
Alex Luxo-Piazza runs The Loving Chair company, which ‘upcycles’ second hand items and transforms them into unique pieces of furniture. They are another local retailer already trading successfully online, but felt there would be an added benefit to having a showroom where people could view their products. Alex says they chose Morton & Morton because they have the same ethos in serving the local community, as well as being a shop where people can access and park easily: ‘We are a small business, and because we create everything ourselves we can’t be in a shop 24/7, the Morton and Morton staff are there to look after our showroom if we are busy. I think you have to do more nowadays than just be a shop. We have lots of ideas for the future in terms of creating a shopping experience, after Christmas we hope to have creative workshops there so people can have a different experience while they shop.’
The newly combined retailing experience at Morton & Morton has already increased the footfall at the shop, and by offering a diverse range of furniture and home interiors, the trio are confident that combining resources is the best way forward for retailing.
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