Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Business training proves a blooming great success
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 6
Business has been blooming at Coolings Garden Center, Kent, UK, after staff attended customized training from the National Skills Academy for Retail.
Since investing in external staff training, the garden center has seen a dramatic increase in sales – most notably a 50 percent rise in February 2011 compared to the previous year.
Coolings contacted the National Skills Academy for Retail after investment in a new gift shop with restaurant and nature trail for children was failing to produce a return on investment.
After an initial meeting at the center, the National Skills Academy for Retail’s trainer identified visual merchandising as the main area for improvement. Eight Coolings managers attended a one-day course on how to create the “wow” factor in the store, using techniques such as color blocking and product placement to maximize sales.
The session was based on the Mary Portas Guide to Successful Retailing, a series of seven master classes aimed at giving small and independent retailers the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to compete in today’s tough retailing world.
The training was such a success that Coolings subsequently arranged for all staff to attend a special evening with management, aimed at motivating staff to take pride in the work they do and the company as a whole.
Gary Carvosso, Coolings managing director, said: “The trainer was professional and enthusiastic and clearly interested in our ongoing success as a retailer in a changing world. The tips and advice given were specific to our business, could be easily implemented and have produced outstanding results.
“Before, we were struggling to profit from some of our extra facilities. We envisaged that the new gift shop would encourage customers to spend more on a visit but this wasn’t the case…Since the training, there has been a great atmosphere in the store. We are now all committed to continuing the center’s success and pushing ourselves to be the best we can be.”
Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, said: “We want to encourage independent retailers to be the best they can be. Our retail-skills shops are an easy and accessible way for any independent retailer to get help and advice on making its business more successful.”