Talking West Cheshire

Retail champion helps Northwich shopkeepers

3 September 2010

Nina Owen, Council's Workability Plus Coordinator, Retail Expert Clare Rayner, Lisa Conway, the Council's Senior Manager for Employment, Skills and Learning.A host of local Northwich businesses attended a retail event at The Store in Rudheath for tips on how to maximise business and increase profit.

The free Flavour of Retail event was organised by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Guest speaker for the event, Clare Rayner, a retail champion, spoke of her own experience in retail and shared her insights into how businesses can maximise their potential to increase their bottom line. Clare has a special interest in seeing local businesses thrive - her parents used to run a shop in Northwich High Street.

Clare has 19 years experience in retail from fast food through fashion, supermarkets, perishables, consumer electronics and general merchandise. Currently she operates a successful consultancy business aiding some of the high streets biggest names as well as some smaller independents.

The free event, sponsored by Cheshire West and Chester Council, included networking opportunities providing attendees with the opportunity to speak with industry professionals and peers including The Skills Academy, Mid Cheshire College, Charisma Card scheme, Business Link, Blue Orchid, Trading Standards, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Said Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, who attended the event: "There was a great interaction between the presenters and the participants. There were also suggestions as to how the Council may improve the services for retail trade in the town of Northwich."

The Store is a new Retail Skills Centre in Rudheath providing a wide range of short courses for businesses and their employees. Some of the courses on offer include Customer Service training, an Introduction to Trading Standards (including pricing and returns), a Visual Merchandising course as well as accredited courses such as Health and Safety at Work.

Also attending the event was Northwich East and Shakerley Councillor, Cllr George Miller. He said: "We would like to thank Clare for her enlightening talk on her experiences in the retail sector. The advice provided on the evening was both informative and practical for the range of businesses attending."

The Store is a partnership between the Council and local businesses. As a joint enterprise the superb facility provides an ideal location for businesses to come for advice and to network with fellow retailers. 

Businesses interested in finding out more about The Store and courses offered there can find out more by calling 01606 334790.