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Retail Matters

Sheffield City Region - Retail Hub of the North...

In this issue: Makers Emporium - hand made for Rotherham High Street Making skills easy in the Sheffield City Region Focus on ‌ the Sheffield Antiques Quarter Real bread using local flour, wild yeast, water and nowt much else Producing the best salmon in the world Going the extra mile for customers Consumer Rights Bill to affect retailers

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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Welcome… Retail Matters This edition of Retail Matters delves deeper into the myriad of ways in which our diverse retail sector enriches all aspects of the Sheffield City Region, bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities from the Derbyshire Dales to Doncaster. I am particularly delighted that we are able to showcase the developments which have been taking place in the Sheffield Antiques Quarter, where retailers and antiques centres have been working in partnership to promote the area and attract customers.

It is also fantastic to see the new Makers Emporium open in Rotherham (pictured front cover). These initiatives are a key part of what makes the Sheffield City Region’s retail sector so special, and a large reason why the region is fast becoming the retail hub of the north. Using innovative marketing techniques to secure business growth was a running theme at our last Retail Matters Conference, which took place on Wednesday 19 March and attracted over 120 delegates from 95 organisations. The event was a fantastic success, with the Bank of England providing an encouraging overview of current economic conditions in the Sheffield City Region and speakers from local retailers including Batting 4 6 outlining how they have achieved growth by implementing effective marketing initiatives in the local community. 93% of delegates rated the speakers as good or excellent, taking away lots of ideas to implement within their own organisations.


Yet things never stay still at Retail Matters HQ, and we are already busy preparing for our next conference, which is taking place on Wednesday 21 May on the subject Utilising the digital world to benefit your business. With 82% of British internet users now regularly shopping online1, and one in four UK retail purchases predicted to be made online by 20162, there has never been more opportunities for businesses to engage with the digital world. We have some fantastic speakers lined up for the conference, and I will very much look forward to seeing you there. Ann Cadman OBE Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Forum and Director of The Source Skills Academy.



Boston Consulting Group's 'Connected World', March 2013

Retail Matters Conference - 21st May 2014 The Sheffield City Region Retail Forum is inviting organisations across the Sheffield City Region to attend a free retail conference and networking event entitled ‘Retail Matters: Utilising the digital world to benefit your business’. The conference will be held on Wednesday 21 May from 1.30pm until 4.00pm at The Source Skills Academy, 300 Meadowhall Way, Sheffield, S9 1EA. Speakers will include; Jason Roberts Dan Brookman Paula Windle Katrina Hann

KNOWHOW Powertext MADE In Sheffield The Source Academy Experian

The last Retail Matters Conference attracted over 120 delegates, 93% of whom rated the quality of the event, speakers and networking opportunities as good or excellent.

‘The Retail Matters Conferences are informative and inspiring’ Kate Shepherd, owner of Cocoa Wonderland.

To book your Conference place contact Emily Wright today on or 0114 263 6656.

If you are interested in advertising in Retail Matters or submitting an editorial feature, please contact us for further information. Contacts - Martin Howard - t: 0114 265 6655 e:

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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Makers Emporium – Hand made for Rotherham High Street From Cllr Roger Stone OBE, Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Rotherham Town Centre has undergone quite a transformation in the last few years, and it has been fantastic to see the Council’s hard work beginning to bring shoppers back to the high street. We have experienced highly encouraging increases in the footfall within Rotherham town centre during the last five years, at a time when many similarly sized towns across the UK have experienced decreases in trade, and our work has been acclaimed at a national level and helped put Rotherham town centre firmly on the map. Our success has been based on building a unique and quality shopping offer based around Rotherham’s historic town centre, which is so different from the Sheffield City Region’s larger shopping centres such as Meadowhall. Assisted by funding from the Portas Pilot initiative and High Street Renewal Fund, we have worked in partnership with organisations across Rotherham to offer financial grants, business mentoring services, and flexible low-cost trading space to attract new businesses and help existing businesses to reach their potential. Throughout all of this activity, we have strived to position Rotherham

as ‘the independent alternative’ which incorporates unique retailers and a quality customer experience, as part of a five-year plan to rejuvenate the town’s shopping and leisure opportunities. The Makers Emporium is the latest town centre project to continue Rotherham’s retail renaissance, having opened to a fantastic reception on Tuesday 15 April 2014 thanks to partnership work between Rotherham Council, The Source Academy and Rotherham Youth Enterprise. Based on Rotherham’s High Street, the emporium offers low cost shared and professionally managed retail space to a diverse range of local makers, crafters, artists and designers, providing a fantastic opportunity for new start-up businesses to gain experience of trading and raise awareness about their products. Over 30 makers have already signed up for retail space, with an array of products now on display at the emporium including handmade bags and clothing, home-

ware, gifts, and hand crafted fine silver jewellery. I am confident that over time many of these entrepreneurs will grow, branch out and eventually have their own shops within Rotherham, and am greatly looking forward to the fantastic impact which this will have on our historic town centre.

Making skills easy in the Sheffield City Region From Laura Hayfield, Programme Manager at Sheffield City Council

Skills Made Easy is an impartial service which makes apprenticeships and training more accessible to small and medium size businesses. The programme works with employers to tailor training to meet the needs of the business, provides a free apprentice recruitment service and helps employers to access all the grants and funding they can apply for. The programme covers Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Chesterfield, NE Derbyshire, Bolsover and Bassetlaw. One of the businesses to benefit from the Skills Made Easy project is Melody Retail, a fashion retailer selling ladies clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Gemma Hill, Store Manager at Melody Retail, says, “We have been trading on The Moor in Sheffield for 25 years, having relocated from Castle Market in 1989. The opening of the new Moor Market has meant that many people are venturing to the Moor for the first time and discovering our store, which is brilliant for our business. Yet the dramatically increased levels of footfall on The Moor have also presented several challenges, which is why we got involved in the Skills Made Easy project.

“We were first contacted by Pippa Proctor from the Skills Made Easy team in January 2014. Pippa took the time to fully understand our businesses and the challenges we are facing, and provided an overview of the support which is available across the region. We are now looking to recruit two retail apprentices to help us cope with the increased levels of demand, and are currently in the process of delivering work trials to assess the suitability of two candidates for the roles. I am going to be taking a BTEC qualification in management, which will help to supplement the practical experience I have gained during my 11 years working at Melody Retail, and allow me to ground my management work in best practice and continue to create a happy friendly atmosphere where staff can enjoy their work. Finally, Pippa has signposted us to a partfunded training course on social media, which will help me to gain new skills and attract new businesses. We would not have known about these opportunities if it wasn’t for the Skills

Gemma Hill Melody Retail

Made Easy programme, and I am now looking forward to the future with a great deal of excitement.”


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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Focus on… the Sheffield Antiques Quarter

There is something exciting happening in Sheffield. During the last two years, a unique cluster of retailers in Heeley have been working in partnership to form and promote the Sheffield Antiques Quarter, and the area is fast becoming a key cultural hub within the city. Comprising of seven antique centres and 30 independent shops, the Sheffield Antiques Quarter has a highly diverse and unique retail offer encompassing authentic period antiques, affordable traditional furniture, vintage clothing and trinkets, art and literature, architectural and reclamation yards and military memorabilia.


Shoppers at the Quarter are also spoilt by numerous cafés serving excellent food, an award winning delicatessen and coffee shop, and a recently refurbished Victorian pub serving good food, fine ales and 100 different whiskies. This month Retail Matters speaks to some of the key figures involved in the Quarter, to find out exactly what makes the area so enchanting.

Hendrika Stephens, chair of the Sheffield Antiques Quarter, has lived in Sheffield since 1998, having fallen in love with the city’s friendliness since the moment she arrived. Hendrika says, “It has been incredible to take a leading role in the creation and development of the Sheffield Antiques Quarter during the last two years. My own involvement in the area started two years ago when I set up my own gallery space in The Emporium, one of seven antiques centres which have been established in the area. At that time The Emporium, as with the majority of the antiques centres, did little in the way of marketing, and did not have a website or any promotional literature. I decided to start talking with the other antiques centres and independent shops about working in partnership on promotional activity, and we held our first partnership meeting in early 2012. The meeting was attended by the majority of businesses in the area and supported by Sheffield City Council’s regeneration teams, and we formally established the Sheffield Antiques Quarter later that month. “Everything has moved forward apace since then. We have designed our own logo and branding for the Quarter, which all members display in their shop windows, established a dedicated website which provides lots of information about the Quarter, and produced a leaflet promoting the Quarter which we have distributed across Sheffield. We have also achieved free media coverage promoting the Quarter in the Sheffield Star and Sheffield Telegraph and specialist publications such as the Antiques Trade Gazette, and have promoted the Quarter through various social media channels. We now have over 3,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter and maintain a steady flow of promotional activity to engage new customers. The results have been fantastic. People are now flocking to the area and making a day of their visit, following the route outlined by the leaflet, which has been fantastic for the retailers, antiques centres and local community.”

Hendrika St ephens Sheffield A ntiques Qua rter

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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Sally Mastin Vintedge Antiques Cen tre

The sense of excitement which has been building around the Sheffield Antiques Quarter has resulted in substantial new investment in the area. Sally Mastin, owner of Vintedge antiques centre, is one of several individuals to have established a business in the Sheffield Antiques Quarter during the last two years, drawn by the area’s newfound sense of vibrancy. Sally says, “I decided to open Vintedge while I was at a wedding in summer 2013. I had always wanted to open an antiques centre, and the wine must have given me the courage to follow my dream. I had heard about the amazing developments taking place in the Sheffield Antiques Quarter and decided to enquire about the availability of space. A week later I had the keys to a vacant building on Abbeydale Road. “We have expanded considerably since then, and I now have 60 traders within the centre, with specialist shop units devoted to vinyl, craft beers, gift cards, and curios. I have a long waiting list of traders wanting to exhibit their products within the centre, and I am currently looking at expanding the centre to encompass the floor upstairs, in order to meet the extra demand. It is absolutely brilliant to be part of such an up and coming area of Sheffield, and I have recently hired an apprentice to help me with the high workload involved. The Sheffield Antiques Quarter is special because it is

Jane an dP Candlest aul ick Cafe

steeped in so much history, and because of the mutually supportive atmosphere, which has been created by so many retailers working closely in partnership to promote the area - if customers can’t find what they are looking for at Vintedge, we will always point them in the direction of the other antique centres. I absolutely love owning a business in the Sheffield Antiques Quarter, and think our achievements demonstrate the fantastic opportunities available to retailers who work in partnership to achieve a common goal.” Sally is not the only person to be swept away by the sense of excitement building around the Sheffield Antiques Quarter - the exciting developments have also captured the imaginations of several entrepreneurs who have established cafes, restaurants and independent shops in the area during the last two years. Paul Infanti set up his own business, Candlestick Café with his partner Jane, in November 2013 and says, “It is the people involved in running the Sheffield Antiques Quarter which make the area so special. Everyone involved absolutely loves what they do, and that is what attracted me to set up a café in the area. The sense of community spirit and our ethos of partnership working means that our customers receive a really genuine service when they visit the Quarter, providing a really different experience in a world

05 increasingly dominated by chain stores and online retailing. I wouldn’t want to run a café anywhere else.” Yet despite these incredible success stories, the chairperson of the Sheffield Antiques Quarter is not resting on her laurels. Hendrika says, “We have so many exciting plans for 2014 and beyond, and are working alongside the Enterprise Team from Sheffield City Council to consider future promotion opportunities. The Council have been incredibly supportive throughout our journey, and we are currently looking into the possibility of establishing brown signage promoting the Quarter across Sheffield. This would really help to raise the profile of the area, and we are trying to raise the funds required through our Crowdfunding page. I am also going to be writing a regular magazine promoting activities taking place in the Quarter, and continuing to organise and promote regular Sheffield Antiques Quarter markets. This will all help to grow the fantastic reputation of the Quarter across the UK, and I am delighted to be playing my part in helping to establish the Sheffield City Region as the retail hub of the north”. To find out more about the Sheffield Antiques Quarter visit

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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Real bread using local flour, wild yeast, water and nowt much else Dave Foster is not your average retailer. An active member of the Real Bread Campaign, which promotes the environmental, social, and health and wellbeing benefits of producing local fresh bread, Dave produces and delivers over 200 loaves of bread per week by bike. His Chef on a Bike business is renowned throughout Stocksbridge, and provides a fantastic example of the ways in which independent retailers in the Sheffield City Region contribute to their local communities. Dave says, “My life as the Chef on a Bike started three years ago when I retired from my job working in the public sector in Leeds and wanted to pursue my love of artisan baking and cycling. I had been an active member of the Real Bread Campaign for several years, and decided to establish an environmentally friendly business delivering home-made bread to the door of local residents in Stocksbridge by bike.


“Bread is such as fundamental part of our diet 99% of UK households buy it and 74% of us eat it at least once a day1. Yet around 95% of the 12 million loaves made daily in the UK are now mass produced using artificial additives and enzymes and distributed miles across the country2, with a detrimental effect on the environment and taste of the bread. A large part of my role as the Chef on a Bike therefore involves encouraging people to fall back in love with the taste of freshly made bread, and recognise the environmental and health benefits of eating locally produced food – I use flour from Worsborough Mill in Barnsley as well as local honey and eggs.

“I am really proud of the way in which my business has developed during the last three years. My customer base has grown and grown, and as a humanist it has been fascinating to meet so many new people and listen to their stories. My clients now include artists, engineers, film directors and even a former winner of Radio 2’s folk awards! I have strived to constantly minimise the impact which my operations have on the local environment, recently installing solar panels to help ensure that my business utilises sustainable energy. “I would also like to think that my business makes a statement about the viability of sustainable transport methods such as cycling in rural communities, and the ease with which everyone can bake fresh produce within their own homes. To this end, I have started to deliver baking workshops which teach people how to make their own fresh bread. I am really excited about growing this area of the business during 2014, and engaging even more people on the benefits of making real bread using ‘local flour, wild yeast, water and nowt much else’.”



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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Producing the best salmon in the world As a loyal customer of Jaquest Fine Foods for over 15 years, Jason Williams built up a close friendship with the business owner John Jaquest. When John approached him with an opportunity to buy the Derbyshire based business in June 2013 he didn’t think twice. Here, Jason talks about the joy of owning a successful business in the Sheffield City Region. Jason says, “I have always been a huge admirer of Jaquest Fine Foods, and the last 12 months have been a dream come true. When Jaquest Fine Foods was established in 1989 the organisation’s array of delicatessen fine foods was revolutionary in the area, and our approach to curing and smoking hams and salmons inhouse is still unique in Derbyshire. “Since taking the reigns, I have adhered closely to the principles which have made the business such a success over the years. This has included continuing to buy the highest quality ingredients and smoking our salmon and hams for hours over smouldering natural beach and oak using our two in-house ‘smokers’. This approach has won several accolades from the Great Taste Awards in London, and after an event at the Houses of Parliament we received an email from David Cameron’s PA to say the Prime Minister thought our smoked salmon was the best in the word!

“I have also started look at ways in which we can improve our operations. Generating business online is going to be increasingly important for us moving forwards, and I am looking at revolutionising the content of our website and including an online ordering system. We are also attending more farmers markets and events such as the Derbyshire Food and Drink Festival, and purchasing another smoker to cope with the increased demand for our products. “Nothing could have prepared me for the amount of work involved in running my own business, but I have absolutely loved every second of it. This time last year I was working in the bar trade, primarily so that I could avoid early mornings - now I spring out of bed at 6am! It isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Going the extra mile for customers The idea for Front Runner was born as Sheffield brothers John and Steve Franklin completed their annual Christmas morning run in 2012. The brothers realised that, despite being one of the best locations in the country for road, fell and trail running, Sheffield did not have a specialist running store in the west of the city. They resolved to remedy the situation, opening a business in Sharrowvale on the 7th December 2013. Following a successful few months, Steve describes how Front Runner’s approach to customer service has helped the business make a flying start. Steve says, “I attribute our success to the first class customer service which we provide in store. I am completing a Masters qualification in sports science and running mechanics, and all of our staff are highly qualified and experienced runners. We are therefore able to offer fantastic guidance to customers without the need for mechanised equipment, and this personal touch has been crucial in ensuring that customers get the right shoes for their running style and needs. As sports science graduates, we can also go above and beyond to offer customers a gold standard of exercise testing, providing bespoke advice to help

customers improve their fitness based on their personal aims and test results. We have also taken an enormous amount of care with the visual merchandising in our store, and have included a lounge area with a sofa, barista coffee machine and plenty of running reading material to ensure that customers gain a fantastic experience when they shop. “I never really thought I would own my own business, but I have loved every second of it so far, and it is incredibly exciting to be part of the retail community at Sharrowvale. We are one of several new independent retailers to establish operations in the area during the last 12 months, attracted by the sense of vibrancy, pedestrianised streets and regular Sharrowvale markets, which are amongst the best in the Sheffield City Region. As someone who has lived in Sheffield years, I am delighted that we are contributing to the growth of the area, and will be working hard during 2014 to sustain Front Runner’s initial success, and ensure that customers continue to walk away saying, ‘you know what, those guys really know their stuff’.”


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Sheffield City Region

Retail Hub of the North...

Consumer Rights Bill to affect retailers The new Consumer Rights Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament has the potential to enable retailers to keep on top of their own rights, and the rights of their customers. Here, Wosskow Brown Solicitors partner Kiley Tan discusses the progress and meaning of the new Consumer Rights Bill, and the way in which it could impact on businesses and customers in the Sheffield City Region. Kiley says, “The Consumer Rights Bill is important to everyone working in the retail sector as it intends to bring together in one place the key consumer rights on everything from contracts for goods and services to digital content and, crucially, unfair terms in consumer contracts. The Bill has been through its evidence stage, with input from a variety of bodies from the Confederation of British Industry and the British Retail Consortium to and the OFT, and should become law this summer. It heralds significant changes in consumer law and the inclusion of digital content for the first time is important as many retailers’ online activity continues to rise.

“The Bill intends to help SMEs and consumers to challenge anti-competitive behaviour by making access to the Competition Appeal Tribunal more straightforward. Assuming the Bill remains more or less intact as it currently stands, it should also make it easier to investigate potential breaches of consumer law and facilitate the operation of Trading Standards across local authority boundaries. Finally, the Bill should give civil courts greater flexibility to act appropriately for consumers when addressing breaches of consumer law. As many working in retail will agree, the detail of the Bill and its application to almost every aspect of the retail sector is going to have a long-lasting effect on the way goods and services are bought and sold.”

For more information on the Consumer Rights Bill, contact Kiley Tan, Partner & Head of Commercial Department at Wosskow Brown Solicitors, on 0114 256 4782 or


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