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Issue 11

August 2015

Retail & Service

Business Matters Sheffield City Region - Retail Hub of the North

In this issue:

Retail Matters

Sheffield Retail Quarter Plans Taking Shape

Crystal Peaks at the Heart of the Community Luxury Lingerie Comes to Rotherham

Step Back in Time with a Trip to Jameson’s Tea Rooms

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Welcome to Our Eleventh Edition of Ann Cadman OBE Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Forum and Managing Director of The Source Skills Academy

This month we highlight upcoming changes to the retail sector, exciting plans to boost trading in Sheffield’s City Centre and retail news from local businesses, making us proud to be part of the Sheffield City Region. In recent news we have observed many retailers coming to terms with the proposed plans to introduce the living wage that will see the current minimum wage of £6.50 an hour increase to £9 by 2020. Some have welcomed it, whilst others, especially small retailers, wonder how they will be able to make ends meet as staff costs rise. The question everybody is asking is - will productivity/sales increase to meet the cost? When we introduced the living wage at The Source we were confident that we had a great team of staff who were consistently loyal, worked hard and were great ambassadors. For us it was a great investment.From personal experience, I know it is a very difficult decision for a business to make, but was it worth it? Yes absolutely! Has it made a difference? A resounding yes! In addition, there are some proposed changes to Sunday trading hours, which I have no doubt will result in some number crunching and debate across the nation. A number of retailers think that to extend the shopping hours would not increase the usual spend because it would be spread across opening hours. Others can see

a positive benefit of extending the opening hours as they expect an accompanying increase in sales. However, the costs have the potential of outweighing the income. For example, lobby group, Open Sundays, claim that the reform in opening hours would bring in £20.3bn over 20 years to the British economy. The reform will be optional and managed by the local government, with retail areas allowed to decide whether extended hours would be beneficial for them. It will be interesting to see what decisions will be made in and around the Sheffield City Region. We have, for many months, been encouraging retailers to discover the benefit of a click and collect service and to see it as a benefit, not a competitor. This combination of an online and in-store sale allows us to maintain a personal and face-to-face shopping experience, whilst making the most of online resources. It’s known that online sales can dramatically increase overall sales and boost profits, read our article on Bethany Snowball, an apprentice whose internet knowledge has doubled her employer’s online sales. In 2014, retail giant John Lewis revealed that 56% of online shoppers opted for in-store collection over the Christmas period, a figure that over took their online sales. With this is mind, we can assume that in years to come its popularity will continue to increase. Research tells us that click and collect customers will also spend when visiting store to collect their purchases. Further information from The ICM consumer poll has found that two thirds of customers have used click and collect services, with younger customers and those from high socio economic groups being its most likely users.

Retail Matters

Sheffield’s Retail Quarter Plans Taking Shape

Crystal Peaks at the Heart of the Community

Luxury Lingerie Comes to Rotherham

Step Back in Time With a Visit to Jameson’s Tea Rooms

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Pages 8 and 9

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Last month Sheffield City Council unveiled plans for the much anticipated Sheffield Retail Quarter and took the next encouraging steps through public engagement to share plans for the striking £480 million scheme. With a team of experts on board to advise on feasibility and deliverables through to securing occupiers, the development looks set to progress at last and Sheffield City Council is actively engaging with tenders for a strategic delivery partner to enable a start on site in 2016. Combining 900,000 sq ft of leisure, office and residential accommodation with a predominant mix of retail, Sheffield Retail Quarter is set to transform the area linking Barkers Pool, Pinstone Street and Moorhead with a thriving new community. It expects to create around 2500 jobs (during construction, and permanent) in the process and bring in approximately £300million a year additional spend to the city centre. Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader, Sheffield City Council explains, “The most successful city centres across the world are spaces where people can live, work, shop and socialise. They offer a great mix of independent and prime retailers, and encourage people to stay from morning to night. This is what we want for Sheffield, a flourishing city centre that is not only a good day out, but also offers jobs and economic benefits to the whole city.”

million people within a one hour drive time of the city, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who work in the city centre. Jonathan De Mello, Head of Retail Consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs, which is advising on the scheme said, “For decades now Sheffield city centre has experienced rising retail vacancy, falling retail sales and lack of investment. This was principally due to a lack of new retail space in the city, configured for modern retailer requirements. “The Sheffield Retail Quarter will change all that, propelling the city 11 places up the retail rankings, and creating a true retail ‘circuit’ between Fargate and The Moor where there is currently a disconnect. There are considerable unsatisfied retailer requirements for the city and many operators currently trading are doing so in undersized/sub-optimal units. The new scheme will satisfy these requirements, and address the issues of current undersupply in core retail categories such as fashion and dining.” The new scheme aims to bring aspirational and contemporary retailers to an enhanced, street-based city centre district that will appeal to many retailers with an affinity for city centre streetscapes. Contemporary fashion will be located in units along Cross Burgess Street and Pinstone Street and prime fashion multiples will set the tone and style of the city centre, alongside an anchor store.

Retail Matters

Research shows that Sheffield city centre is significantly undersupplied in terms of specific types of retail floor space when measured against comparable city centres. Sheffield has 32% less mid-market retail than the benchmark average, and 85% less upper mid-market retail. Specifically, both fashion and catering are significantly undersupplied, at 37% and 41% respectively.

Simon Green, Executive Director for Place, Sheffield City Council, concludes, “The Sheffield Retail Quarter will attract investment, businesses and visitors to the city and help us to raise our profile nationally. The retail quarter can play an important role in securing Sheffield’s economic future, and will complement exciting regeneration schemes such as Castlegate, The Moor, West Bar and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.”

This demonstrates a major lack of representation in what is the 4th largest city (outside London) in England, but also presents a very strong opportunity to attract operators that can benefit from £9bn in available spend from a catchment of 2.6


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From the CEO of Doncaster Chamber, Daniel Fell. “Over the last eighteen months Doncaster Chamber has been running a campaign to stimulate debate about what the borough’s next big idea should be. This debate has taken place in meetings, at events, via social media and culminated in June at the inaugural Doncaster Business Conference which was attended by 250 local business leaders and key partner organisations. The background to this debate is fairly simple. The Chamber believes that over the last ten years Doncaster has enjoyed as good a track record in relation to economic regeneration as any other large town. Crucially, this track record has revolved around big projects such as: Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster Racecourse, Frenchgate Shopping Centre, CAST Theatre, Keeepmoat Stadium and other game-changing developments. The pipeline for Doncaster over the next five years looks similarly fruitful with developments such as the National HS2 Academy, Inland Rail Port and a new Golf Course all planned. However, notwithstanding these welcome and much needed schemes, challenges and questions remain. Many of the challenges relate to skills gaps, Doncaster’s comparatively low levels of economic resilience and a shortfall of high growth SMEs – in short, unless a number of interventions are put in place, then the economic overhaul of Doncaster will either fall short or fail to benefit local businesses and residents as well as it might. The Chamber’s big ideas campaign has covered a broad range of areas from infrastructure to education. It has never been the intention to produce a definitive list of desirable projects – simply to spark healthy debate about how businesses, partners and residents alike can keep taking Doncaster forward. Suggested schemes have ranged from teaching Mandarin in schools to building an ‘Angel of the North’ for Doncaster, and from developing a Rail Engineering Enterprise Zone to relocating a major Government Department to the town. Some of these ideas have real legs and gravitas, others are slightly more tongue in cheek but, nonetheless, prompt serious thought about where Doncaster should go next.

Retail Matters

One telling and serious trend, however, has been the premium that Doncaster businesses – regardless of sector – are placing on the continued vitality of Doncaster’s town centre. Whilst in some respects, Doncaster fares well compared to other places – with award winning markets, a high number of day trippers and reasonably strong occupancy rates – it is no surprise that Doncaster faces challenges similar to other town centres the length and breadth of the country. As such, some re-imagining of the centre to better integrate retail, commercial, residential and leisure activity is urgently needed. To help with this local businesses have contributed their ‘big ideas’ for the centre with the highlights being given below: • Re-design the Doncaster Railway Station frontage as a modern civic plaza and gateway to the town. • Introduce ‘Boris Bikes’ to Doncaster. • Launch a restoration project to restore period features to more town centre buildings. • Make Trafford Way a tunnel between Frenchgate and the Hub and reintegrate Doncaster Minster with the town centre. • Ensure a regular rotation of entertainers and artists in the Corn Exchange. • Put a ‘roof’ over the town centre. Some of these schemes are achievable and desirable, others possibly less so in the cold light of day. The important thing for Doncaster is that businesses, residents and stakeholders alike have started to debate ‘what next’ for the town centre. This, along with fresh thinking about how Doncaster can capitalise better on its history and heritage, should position the town centre and its constituent retailers well for a vibrant future.”

Daniel Fell CEO of Doncaster Chamber


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The four star independent Rutland hotel is located in the leafy Broomhill suburb of Sheffield. A mix of contemporary design together with retained Victorian features, the Rutland offers a ‘home from home’ hotel experience that sets it apart from the many chain hotels in the city. With 63 bedrooms including two fabulous suites, executive rooms and standard rooms, the Rutland offers complimentary WiFi and car parking to its guests. The hotel is also a popular local destination for weddings, anniversaries, celebrations and Sunday lunch. With three function rooms, restaurant and conservatory and bar which opens all day. The hotel garden with water feature is a great place to relax with a drink after a busy day! The Rutland restaurant menu offers home comforts including a ‘build a burger’ concept and the famous Rutland Henderson’s Relish and steak pie as featured on Look North!

The Rutland prides itself on building relationships and partnerships. Sheffield University and the five local hospitals that surround the hotel all offer business to the hotel every day of the year; from visiting lecturers, examiners, parents visiting their children at University to people undergoing treatment at the local hospitals. The personal touch helps guests feel at home, and always makes them come back again. The hotel recently placed a number of its staff through customer service training via The Source. WorldHost customer service training was delivered over a period of six months and will see the hotel’s staff deliver excellent customer service to its guests at all times.

The Rutland is headed up by General Manager Jason, and Sales Manager Katey followed by a great team who have worked at the hotel for many years – very rare in the hotel industry! For more information please visit or contact Katey at

G N I N I A TR ht g i r B a r o F Future


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We have apprenticeships available in: Retail, Sales, Customer Service, Warehousing, Administration, Hospitality, Management, Marketing

For more information call 0114 263 6651 or email

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In November last year, Karen Carr, previously a primary school teacher with over twenty years of experience in education, made the leap into the retail sector and realised her dream. Her shop La Bella Lingerie is supplying the people of Rotherham with all kinds of lingerie including bras, nightwear, briefs and loungewear. Karen has taken advantage of Rotherham’s “Pop-up Shop” initiative, one of a number of units managed by the council which have attracted a range of independent, niche businesses into the town centre.

Retail Matters

Karen had a ‘light bulb moment’ in Spring 2014 whilst reading a book called ‘Happily Ever After’ which she hopes was a good omen for the business’ long-term success. Still working as a primary school teacher, Karen had to work quickly to assemble her business plan before handing in her notice at the end of the academic year. With no experience in retail, Karen sought support from knowledgeable people including George Elliot from The Source, Martin Benson from Rotherham Council and Darren McDool, her business coach. After conducting market research and compiling her business plan, Karen presented it to the council and was successful in securing the premises which is in a prominent position on Rotherham High Street. Through the “Pop-up Shop” initiative, Karen was able to access funding including reduced rent with help from the Portas Pilot scheme. Just weeks after opening in November, Karen was visited by the Queen of Shops herself when Mary Portas and her filming crew visited independent retailers in Rotherham for a piece aired on BBC Breakfast.

Karen said, “The ethos behind La Bella Lingerie is ‘it’s all about you’. I’m really passionate about giving a personal service and getting to know my customers. Each customer has a different reason for buying new underwear whether they’re going on a special weekend away, they’ve lost weight, had surgery or simply to treat themselves. The sense of satisfaction I get from fitting someone properly is magical. I love seeing how a customer’s demeanour can change when wearing the right underwear, often with improved posture and confidence which is fantastic to see.”

Creating imaginative classroom displays has helped her to arrange appealing window displays and decorate the shop interior with immaculate style. In fact, Karen’s window displays are award winning after scooping top prize in the brand Curvy Kate’s ‘Star in a Bra’ competition. Karen shows her caring side through the business by supporting those suffering with breast cancer, offering specialist post-surgery underwear and arranging fundraising events for the charity ‘Against Breast Cancer’. La Bella Lingerie has had a fantastic first 9 months of trading with a loyal customer base being built and happy customers giving great feedback both in store and on social media. The shop’s Facebook page has a rating of 5.0 stars, the maximum score possible with no reviewers giving any less than top marks. The shop is a great example of Rotherham’s increasingly prosperous, independent retail offering and long may it continue.

Whilst her experience is in education rather than retail, Karen found that she had many transferable skills that were invaluable to her new business. Talking to parents has given her great customer service skills and a confidence when speaking to people from all walks of life. She is able to support customers with a variety of budgets and offer payment plan options to help every customer feel special.


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The brand has more than 3,000 stores around the world including Hong Kong, Shanghai, San Francisco, Paris, Istanbul, and London. Until recently, customers in the South Yorkshire Region had to travel to Nottingham or York for their nearest branch. Founded in 1963, ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking process – from leather production through manufacturing in its own factories and all the way to its stores. Karl Toosbuy founded the company in Denmark with a dream to create a shoe company guided by the Scandinavian design

philosophy; “The shoe must follow the foot”. To this day, ECCO is still owned by the Toosbuy family. ECCO opened its Meadowhall store in November 2014 and is located on the upper level Arcade alongside other brands such as Austin Reed and French Connection. The store is highly focused on Scandinavian Design and promotes the idea that “less is more”. This gives the customers a true Scandinavian experience from the interior of the store to the products offered. ECCO offers a wide range of stylish and comfortable products for him and her including business shoes, boots, occasion footwear, golf shoes and hiking shoes. With a reputation for high quality leather, ECCO also sell accessories including leather handbags, briefcases and small leather goods. ECCO promises high quality in everything they do,

from their products to their customer experience and also in the training of their staff. The Meadowhall staff have had extensive training in product knowledge and both the Store Manager Rebekah Marrin and Assistant Store Manager Olivia Penny are working towards qualifications with local retail skills provider, The Source Skills Academy. Store Manager, Rebekah Marrin said, “It’s great working for ECCO at Meadowhall. We’re getting involved in all the events the centre organise such as, the Ladies Night and Student Lock ins. Customers are realising they can find us here now and the brand has a huge amount of loyal customers, once they have tried ECCO shoes they always come back for more!”.

Retail Matters

Meadowhall staff are taking part in a unique pledge initiative this summer to help Sheffield charities and communities, as part of the Centre’s 25th anniversary celebrations. A total of 345 pledges have been made by the Centre’s employees; volunteers from all sections of the business including senior management, security and maintenance, right through to HR and customer service.

Caroline Jansaker who works in the Events team at Meadowhall, said: “I chose to take part in the Wincobank litter pick and the Hadrian’s Wall challenge and really enjoyed both activities as they were so different. I know I was helping different people in very different ways and that’s what the whole pledge idea is about.” Meadowhall marks 25 years of opening on Friday September 4th continuing into a full weekend of celebrations and activities across the Centre and other Sheffield locations.

Some of the pledges are linked to raising funds for Meadowhall’s chosen charity St Luke’s Hospice, others are commitments to helping local communities such as litter picks in Wincobank or taking part in reading schemes at local primary schools. Some staff have agreed to forfeit their lunch money or join a salary sacrifice scheme for the year. Others successfully completed the Race 4 Life back in May at Meadowhall. Centre Director, Darren Pearce, said: “We always try to be a good neighbour and support a number of community projects every year, but this year is particularly special because of our 25th anniversary. “I’m particularly proud of the way the staff have risen to this particular challenge and are really going out of their way to help various Sheffield communities and charities in so many different ways, both financial and practical.” Tens of thousands of pounds have already been raised by various activities, including a recent 90-mile hike following Hadrian’s Wall across the North of England which collected around £10,000 for St Luke’s. Hundreds of man hours have also been devoted as part of the pledges including 75 hours of litter-picking around Wincobank.


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Not Just an Award Winning Shopping Centre but at the Heart of the Community As well as providing a full retail service for its thousands of visitors every day of the week, Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre also takes its responsibility to the wider neighbourhood very seriously. That’s very much the ethos behind a series of acclaimed and prize winning projects that emphasise the centre’s long term commitment to a whole range of environmental issues. The shopping centre is owned by BT Pensions Trustees and is administered by Hermes Investment Management, the company that specialises in active asset management working to deliver excellent, long-term, performance responsibly. Within the mall visitors find some of the biggest names in the high street – Marks & Spencer, Next, WH Smith, Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s to name just a few and all companies have their own commitment to working with the wider community. So it makes perfect sense that Crystal Peaks itself should take an active role in caring for its environment with an impressive portfolio of projects all aimed at greater sustainability and improving the landscape around the site.

Crystal Peaks also has its own campaign, b:responsible, aimed at promoting the centre’s care for the environment. 

Retail Matters

One simple but extremely effective project, for instance, was the launch of public electric car charging points.

“We are striving to make a positive contribution towards minimising the impact we have on our environment,” says Lee. “We also want to ensure that Crystal Peaks and our surrounding neighbourhoods are safe and progressive places to live, work and shop in.” The centre has implemented bee friendly planting to help support the honeybees that are now living in hives on the centre’s roof – the plants include lavender, heathers, clematis, honeysuckle and buddleias.

Crystal Peaks now has two charge points in the Green car park area, one slow charge 3kW 13A point with three pin fitting and a 7kW 32A fast charge with a vehicle specific fitting, complete with intelligent control that speaks to the vehicle before charging can commence.

A shredding machine provides mulch and chippings from organic waste for use on plant beds around the site. This increases insect numbers and encourages birds. Insect boxes have been located at suitable places around the site and six Swift nest boxes provide potential homes for the bird species that has declined by 47 per cent in the last ten years.

The equipment was provided by Zero Carbon World, the company that donates electric car charging stations to businesses in the hotel and leisure industries to promote the adoption of electric cars and help those who already drive one.

Crystal Peaks worked with the Sheffield Bird Study Group and the Swift Conservation Society to identify possible nesting sites.

“Crystal Peaks is extremely keen to help reduce its own carbon footprint and those of its many visitors,” says centre manager Lee Greenwood. “We do encourage any initiative that persuades visitors to use our excellent public transport systems, including both the tram and bus networks, but appreciate that many will still want to travel by car. “With this in mind, we are delighted to have launched these new charging points for the next generation of electric vehicle because we believe that switching to electric vehicles will dramatically reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. “The most recent reports show that emissions from personal transport accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the UK’s transport carbon output and our charging points could help to reduce this figure.”

Working with Sheffield City Council, Supertram, local wildlife groups and the Sorby Natural History Society, the centre has also been helping to promote and conserve Crystal Peaks Meadow which is an ecologically important ancient meadow habitat that lies adjacent to the mall’s southern boundary. Crystal Peaks staff have volunteered on wildlife walks, participated in hay-making sessions and have arranged cleanups of the neighbouring stream. “At a more practical level, we also work very hard on lowering energy consumption levels,” Lee said. “In 2014 we reduced electricity usage by -5 per cent on 2013 and -26 per cent compared to 2010 despite being busier and open for more hours, mainly as a result of investment in back of house motion sensors and timers and introducing a phased replacement of mall lighting to low energy LEDs.”


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The next phase of this strategy will consist of replacing 150 external street lights with LEDs.

Ochre Dyke is a small stream that rises in the Gleadless Townend area and meanders past Crystal Peaks before joining the River Rother in nearby Beighton.

“In the same period our gas consumption fell by -19 per cent on 2013 and -26 per cent compared to the year before, thanks to improving the timings and efficiency of our heating systems.

Working closely with Crystal Peaks, the River Stewardship Company (RSC) has been coordinating and supervising the volunteer force needed for a monthly clean up project.

“We are now future-proofing our assets by investing in the latest controls technology.” A further proof of the centre’s commitment to energy saving is the 405 solar panels of four rooftop sites.

“It is proof again that at Crystal Peaks we are very committed to working in the wider community and this particular project is one part of a wider campaign to create green spaces and even a wildflower corridor in the months and years to come,” says Lee.

“In the long term this will help us save over 47 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and provide more than 10 per cent of our electricity needs,” says Lee. “This will mean a major saving to the centre but even more importantly it is all part of our ongoing strategy of supporting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint in every area of the mall.” The Crystal Peaks environmental policy is also as successful in the small details as it is in the bigger picture. A recent example is the enthusiasm with which the centre greeted National Hedgehog Awareness Week, providing specially constructed shelters for the privacy-loving animals at secret locations throughout the Crystal Peaks site. Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how the public can help them. “Although we are a busy shopping centre and we are close to one of Sheffield’s largest areas of housing, we are equally close to many open areas and inevitably we do see many wild animals, including hedgehogs,” Lee points out.

Retail Matters

“Anything we can do to ensure their safety is extremely important to us, which is why we are investing in hedgehog shelters that will be located around our site, providing a haven well clear of traffic and other dangers.” A much more long-term project has seen centre staff join forces with city organisation, the Riverside Stewardship Company, to restore a neglected waterway close to the mall.


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“The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon” - How to fight ‘showrooming’ by bringing best of mobile in-store. “The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon” was found plastered on one of the shop windows of a Jessops store shortly before the chain went into administration. It tells the tale of ‘showrooming’ – browsing in store and buying online – which has many in the bricks and mortar retail world vexed. If you’re a retailer and you’re nodding along, Alex Hodgson from One 2 Call, Sheffieldbased IT and Communications experts, has a few suggestions for how you can use mobile technology to your advantage. Control the Airwaves! Encourage customers onto your own WiFi connection, and then use this channel to engage with them. Here are a few tips: • Make it fast You’ll need to outperform mobile. The average 3G speed is around 7Mbps and the average 4G speed is around 15-18Mbps. • Offer sign in options Registering is a turn off, but many WiFi points offer features like Facebook login where free acces is given once the customer checks in to your Facebook page (which promotes your store too). • Promote your website/app Use this opportunity to drive customers to your website or app, which then makes it easier for them to find later. The right app can also be used to push messages and exclusive offers to the customers every time they visit, thereby driving loyalty. • Promote your WiFi! Print some nicely designed posters, place them in prominent positions, and offer incentives to use it. Their phone will remember the connection for next time too.

Chuck the Checkout Why force customers to queue for 5 minutes when they can buy on Amazon in 5 seconds?! With the right technology, customers could just scan and buy through their phone and either walk out, or leave somewhere secure to collect later. Imagine being able to promote your store with a ‘no queues guarantee’! You might need some expert advice to do this really well, as you’ll need your stock database and payment system linking to your app or 3rd party barcode scanning app. For a simpler option Paypal Here lets you take a card reader to the customer, who can pay using Paypal from their own smartphone. Be a Friend, Not a Servant. Today’s consumers not only know more about your products before they even step in store, they are also much more willing to self-serve. So why not let them do this (via your WiFi and app) and free your store assistants to become features of the store in their own right? The iStore, Richer Sounds and Waterstones all promote individuals with knowledge, taste or personality as part of the customer experience. Information can be found easily online, so opinions become important, and if you like Dave or Davina who serves you, how much more guilty would you feel about putting the item back and buying it online later?!

Retail Matters


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Sheffield-based IC Innovations, a leading designer, supplier and distributor of distinctive homewares, gifts and seasonal products, is to purchase historic threestorey premises in Sheffield and hire additional staff following £1.265 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial. Tristan Cowell formed IC Innovations initially in 2005 when he designed and launched an innovative new product for displaying Christmas cards in the home. It proved an instant success and over the course of the next two years Card Hang UpsTM won multiple awards. Ten years later and IC Innovations has experienced strong demand for its expanding range of products, made up of its own portfolio of brands and private label design projects. The company now supplies products to many of the most trusted names in British retailing, with coverage in over 5,000 retail outlets in the UK. Tristan Cowell, Director, IC Innovations, said: “We are grateful to Santander Corporate & Commercial for giving us the opportunity to take the business to the next level. We have seen strong increase in demand for our product ranges from our fantastic customer base. The move will allow us to display our products in a realistic retail environment in the new showroom, whilst developing our in-house design capabilities. I’m excited not just by the opportunities in the UK but also internationally as we enter the next phase of expansion.”

As part of its expansion, the company is relocating from Sheaf Bank Business Park in Heeley and has purchased Cemex House on Savile Street. The commercial site will host the company’s offices, design studio and showroom. The Sheffield office of law firm Irwin Mitchell advised on the relocation and completed all the legal aspects of a complicated purchase.

Retail Matters

IC Innovations has already developed strong trading relationships with suppliers in Asia and the funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial will also be used to explore further international trading opportunities. The firm has set up a showroom in the Far East and, with support from Santander’s global network and international expertise, is forecasting a stronger contribution to its growth from overseas stakeholders. The company’s success is also partly due to the apprenticeship scheme they have developed with help from The Source Skills Academy. They have taken on 7 apprentices in roles such as Administration level 2 and level 3 which has allowed them to boost their workforce and invest in local talent.

The new premises, built in 1903, were originally known as part of Albion Works and were once home to metal dealers Thomas Ward Ltd - a company which a century ago supplied thousands of tons of recycled metal every day to the country’s steel firms for the war effort. Wards became famous in Sheffield as from 1916, it employed the services of an elephant called Lizzie to haul heavy loads of steel and machinery through the city’s streets. The company’s own horses had been taken off to the front for use by the military. Donna Butler, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are delighted to provide funding to support a great local entrepreneur and to help enable the growth of an exciting business – one that’s creating additional jobs in the city. IC Innovations has a clear plan for expansion, driven by innovative and stylish products and a great network of customers, and I’m confident that it will continue to be a major local success story.”

Retail & Service

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Since 2010 Sheffield City Council’s Successful Centres team has been working to deliver a strategy to support and promote a healthy network of District and Local centres in the City. Centres are an important focal point for any neighbourhood, providing much needed services, shopping and business to meet the needs of the local community. The Successful Centres team has delivered a wide range of initiatives to a number of District Centres including helping to establish Town Teams of local traders, tackling vacant units, initiating public realm improvements, marketing campaigns and a wide variety of other projects.

elevation treatments were amongst the works carried out following an agreed schedule of works for each property, and accounting for the fact that different properties were in need of varying levels of decoration or repair. The scheme included a number of properties forming the ground floor of a Grade II listed building, meaning particular care was required to deliver a result which gave uniformity to the building, enhancing its appearance and setting. The end result of the Spital Hill scheme is a striking improvement in the street scene, consolidating other regeneration investment in the area, and working to strengthen and promote the area’s distinctive offer and encourage further investment from the businesses themselves. Development work is now underway for the next Successful Centres project in the Sharrow / London Road district centre. The team are consulting with local stakeholders to create a scheme in keeping with the area’s character. As a major route into the city centre with an established reputation for its variety of quality restaurants, the area possesses great potential, and there is a real opportunity to help secure and promote it as a unique destination.

In 2014, having delivered a successful shop front improvement scheme in Darnall District Centre, the team commissioned a further shop front scheme for Spital Hill, which has recently been completed. Spital Hill is a district centre in the North East of Sheffield, with a retail offer made up largely of small independent shops and restaurants, cafés and takeaways.

Retail Matters

82 properties were included in the Spital Hill scheme, wherein local contractors M3 provided cosmetic refurbishment to the front elevations of the properties, free of charge to the businesses themselves. New signage, repainting, reglazing and



Shortlisted for Prestigious Retail Award The Source Skills Academy apprentice Bethany Snowball has been shortlisted for the ‘Apprentice of The Year’ Rising Stars Award, hosted by Retail Week magazine. Bethany’s next step will be to attend an interview in London to aid them in deciding on a winner. The winner will then be announced at The Rising Stars Awards which take place in September at The Grosvenor House Hotel Ballroom on Park Lane, London. The evening recognises talented individuals with a VIP night to remember including a welcome from Ambassador Theo Paphitis who is famous for his appearances on Dragons’ Den. Aged 21, Bethany has been working at Chesterfield-based Fred’s Haberdashery since April 2014 and through her training, she has developed an abundance of skills within the trade and has become the small company’s biggest asset.

Bethany said, “I can’t believe I have been shortlisted; it’s a great feeling to have my hard work recognised. I’m nervous but also excited to go to London and speak to the judges about the work I have done.” Bethany is continuously striving to learn and achieve; she has completed her Retail Level 2 qualification and progressed onto a Management Level 3 course. The courses have helped her to generate new ideas and develop new proposals to maximise sales opportunities and expand the existing customer base. Franca Kelly, Work Based Learning Team Leader at The Source Skills Academy, says, “We’re so grateful that we can share this journey with Bethany, she has achieved so much and we’re proud to have her as one of our learners. We wish her the best of luck in London; we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Since joining the company Bethany has revamped the company’s social media and increased its online-presence, resulting in an increase in web sales by 40%. She has even attracted custom from as far afield as the United States.


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Implements New Systems to Improve the Customer Journey A recent investment is enabling Chesterfield-based aGeek to take its customer care to the next level, setting it apart from its competitors.

Director Paul Allan explains: “This has taken customer care to new levels. WEEDY allows us to send customers texts and emails at EVERY stage of their journey. An Online Portal enables customers to track any job or repair 24/7, download copy invoices or other records, communicate instantly with us, and even pay invoices by PayPal with a single click and much, much more.”

Retail Matters

The business, established in 2009, is an electronics service, sale, build and repair centre. It recently invested in a new integrated POS, Service and CRM system – WEEDY.

For the last 60 years, the prestigious L’Oréal Colour Trophy has showcased some of the brightest talents and highest profile names in the hairdressing industry. This year Viviennes, a luxury hair and beauty salon based on West Bars in Chesterfield, was a regional finalist in the North East Awards. The independent hair salon is owned and run by Gemma Bradshaw, who is also the Creative Director. She explained: “Becoming a finalist in the L’Oréal awards really put our salon and town on the map.” The salon opened in 2011 with an overarching aim of being an all-inclusive beauty house that is a cut above the rest. The business has stayed true to its word, constantly investing in its staff, training and

new technologies to continually improve and ensure it remains at the forefront of the industry locally and regionally. It prides itself on going the extra mile for clients, offering the best coffee and alcohol beverage bar, extra-long head massages, reclining backwash and prestigious product brands within the salon. Each customer’s service and experience is monitored via an online feedback email that is linked to As a result Viviennes is currently ranked within the top three salons for the East Midlands area. All customer reviews not only reflect on the good standard of hair and beauty but also customer care. The business’ dedication to customer care and exemplary service was recognised last year at the Chesterfield Retails Awards, organised by Destination Chesterfield, where it won Hair and Beauty Business of the Year. Viviennes hopes to retain its title in the 2015 awards after once again being shortlisted for the prestigious award.

Gemma added:

“We are ecstatic that our team-work and efforts are now growing to a new level in hairdressing. It’s our passion to achieve more and we are hoping this is the beginning of many more industry trophies and local awards to be won.”


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A Level Res GCSE R ults Day 13th A esults D ay 20th ugust August

What’s y our nex


The Source Skills Academy Job Fair


26th August 2015 - 12pm-6:00pm All welcome

at The Source, 300 Meadowhall Way, S9 1EA

Apply for over 100 local apprenticeship vacancies • Find out about pre-employment training and traineeships • Talk to potential employers • Practise your interview skills in 1 to 1 discussions with our advisors • Gather information as a parent or guardian And lots more. There will also be the opportunity to enter into a prize draw to

WIN £50 of Meadowhall vouchers.

The Source Skills Academy is committed to providing equality for all and preventing any form of discrimination. We welcome candidates from all backgrounds, we will treat all candidates with respect and dignity regardless of their background and no candidate will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, gender orientation, nationality, religion or belief (or lack of belief), ethnic or national origin, age, gender reassignment, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

skills made easy

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For more information call 0114 263 6654 or email The Source Skills Academy 0114 263 5600 |

17/07/2015 12:39

With Great Businesses Across South Yorkshire For many years, The Source Skills Academy has been organising apprenticeship recruitment events at their flagship building opposite Meadowhall. Recently we have stepped up the frequency of these events because of the high demand for apprentices from employers within the Sheffield Region. Held in The Source’s conferencing suite; our Recruitment team work hard to ensure that employers are matched with the right candidates who are looking for work in all sectors including Retail, Hospitality, Marketing, Warehousing and Business Admin. Additionally, our links with the Sheffield City Region’s Skills Made Easy project allows candidates to explore opportunities in many diverse industries from Engineering and Manufacturing to Hair and Beauty. Sourcing the right placement for the candidates is our number one aim; the apprenticeship fairs have been a great success in part due to involvement from many different partners including SYPTE who have been able to advise candidates on their best travel options to interviews and routes to work using public transport. Collaboration with Job Centre Plus and the Work Programme has enabled us to reach even more candidates who come along to have the opportunity to apply for over 150 vacancies.

During the event, candidates are able to pick up top tips on what is involved in an apprenticeship. Parents are also welcome to attend and have found the event has helped them to understand what apprenticeships can offer their child and the job satisfaction and training these opportunities provide. An apprenticeship may not be the right route for everyone and we have many other different solutions available such as pre-apprenticeship training and traineeships. The most important outcome is that each candidate is guided towards the right support, information and guidance to suit their needs. The recruitment fair is also open to employers allowing them to conduct initial interviews with candidates on the day. Full details on how employers can get involved can be provided by contacting one of our team on 0114 2636654. Our next recruitment fair on the 26th August will be our biggest to date; there are lots of opportunities and we welcome anyone who would like to find out more about apprenticeships to attend and get involved. Dale Robinson, Head of Sales and Marketing, said, “Apprenticeships are the future. Employers are getting increasingly involved and this is reflected in the high volume of vacancies available right now.” The Source Apprenticeship Fair; where everyone is welcome. 26th August, 12pm until 6pm at The Source, 300 Meadowhall Way, S9 1EA.

Retail Matters An Award-Winning Bakery in Sheffield An award-winning bakery in Sheffield is seeing its profits rise after benefiting from a unique City Region government-funded scheme, designed to develop businesses and improve workforce productivity. Brook Bakery, which is run by brother and sister team John Emes and Sue Gravill, approached Skills Made Easy for practical advice on how to address skills shortages within the business, following a significant period of growth. As staff numbers increased and the business expanded and relocated to a 22,000 sq ft bespoke bakery where the company is responsible for delivering wholesale bread and confectionery orders alongside its retail business, the owners recognised a need to strengthen links between the company’s different divisions.  Sue Gravill, director, Brook Bakery said: “As the business has grown, we recognised many of the systems and processes we relied upon for years were no longer fit for purpose. We approached Skills Made Easy to see if they could offer any guidance in helping to improve the way in which our business operates as we realised that this was impacting upon the performance of the company.

Laura Hayfield, Programme Manager at Skills Made Easy said: “The work we have undertaken with Brook Bakery illustrates how the Skills Made Easy programme can help to make a positive difference to businesses in the Sheffield City Region, not only through helping companies to improve efficiency, but in this case, it was more about forging stronger links between the different divisions within the business. “Skills Made Easy’s workforce development programmes are designed to help companies based in Sheffield City Region to flourish. We recognise that every business faces unique challenges. There are no strings, and no costs to the employer and the free services we provide help companies to not only increase productivity, but also lay down the foundations for future growth.” Skills Made Easy’s workforce development programme is available to all small and medium-sized businesses operating throughout the Sheffield City region and can provide access to funding for training. For more information visit: or telephone 0114 2636654.

“During the process, Skills Made Easy helped us to secure funding for training which has not only helped members of staff across the business work towards completing NVQ qualifications, but it’s also helped us to forge stronger links between the different departments, rather than working in isolation which used to be the norm.” More than 40 members of staff participated in the four month programme which saw cleaners, bakers, shop managers, delivery drivers, pickers, office staff and company directors come together to examine specific issues facing the business.  Since completing the programme Brook Bakery has already reported significant cost savings, improved productivity and has even opened the doors of its fifth shop, which is based in Woodhouse. 


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Sarah Jameson had always dreamed of running an elegant, warm, relaxing tea room where the service and attention to detail was second to none and everyone was welcome. So in 2012, with the help of her family, she opened Jameson’s Café and Tea Rooms. Jameson’s has been a well-known name in Sheffield since 1883. Originally famous for antiques, it is now also renowned for its wonderful afternoon tea, home-baked cakes, delightful lunches and welcoming atmosphere. Sarah – who loves all things vintage – says: “Everything is so rushed in this world and no-one seems to get a minute to relax, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and appreciate the company of whoever they are with. This is what Jameson’s is all about. If you come into my world you might just get time to relax, even if it is just for a moment.

“I’ve created a completely different atmosphere. It’s elegant and it’s refined. We offer 37 different types of tea and we are licensed so we can serve champagne and prosecco. Every day we have a selection of around 20 handmade cakes and four or five different types of scones. We have a pianist and all of the staff wear 1940s style outfits. It’s not quite theatrical but it’s definitely an experience.

We’re a little bit old school in that we’ve gone back to the way it used to be where the welcome is warm and everyone is treated with respect. “I love every minute of running the tea rooms. I love the cooking, I love the baking but most of all I love the interaction with customers. I love making them feel that they are the most important thing to me at that moment in time.”

“We’ve come a long way since we opened just over three years ago. We’ve outgrown premises twice; we started at 25 covers and now have just under 80. Our increase in turnover has even led to us having to be VAT registered. It’s hard work as we are constantly very busy but that’s great and I wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m always striving to make it even better than it already is because I don’t believe you ever get to a point where you can say ‘this is it’. I feel you can carry on and make something even more amazing. I work hard at motivating my staff as this is reflected in the customer experience. In my book customer service must be outstanding and everybody should be greeted with a smile. It might be ‘in’ to pout, but not in Jameson’s!”

Retail Matters

From Seb Schmoller, Citizen Maths Project Director “Many people struggle with maths, not just in gaining qualifications but more importantly in knowing how to use maths to solve everyday workplace problems. This is especially an issue in the retail sector where schoolleaver recruits may have a very narrow experience of maths and where older employees need to brush-up on their knowledge. Citizen Maths is a new initiative which tackles this problem by offering a free, wholly online course in practical maths specifically designed around these types of problems. The course has been designed by experts in the application of practical mathematics from the Institute of Education at University College London.” The course will have five modules, each of which will explore a different application of maths. The course has been running since late 2015 with one pilot module. Two more will be available in October of this year with the remaining released in early 2016. Visit for more information.

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Retail Matters Issue 11  

This issue is the first extended issue covering retail and service.

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