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Retail Matters

Retail Hub of the North...

In this Issue: Retail Independents’ Day Ice Cream Inspiration A Passion for Pottery Inspiring Retailers of the Future Funding for Retail SME’s It’s a Crafty Business A Little Slice of Genius

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Retail Hub

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Welcome… Retail Matters This month we are showcasing some inspirational retailers and businesses who are sharing their stories and, I’m sure you will agree, inspiring us to think outside the box!


My biggest focus at the moment is customer service and after having a negative experience recently, I am hearing more and more tales from friends, family and customers which has highlighted the great potential for retailers to up their game and ensure that customer service is at the top of their agenda. I’ll be sharing some of these stories over the coming months, from some embarrassingly poor experiences to some exceptional examples which have encouraged me to visit stores time and time again. The last few months have been busy for the Sheffield City Region. I was absolutely delighted in July when I saw the response for Retail Independents’ Day in Sheffield City Centre. Fargate became a unique market, full of exciting and innovative products that give a flavour of what the region has to offer

customers. It created a buzz for both retailers and customers and reminded me of how markets used to be – theatrical and exciting. I for one am proud to shop in the Sheffield City Region. I think we have a vast array of shops right on our doorstep that can offer everything a customer needs, from high street chains all under one roof, to pockets of independent shops where the stock changes each day. Now is an exciting time for retail and I am thrilled we are all part of it. I hope you enjoy this edition of Retail Matters. Please keep your stories coming in, we look forward to receiving them.

Ann Cadman Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Forum and Director of The Source Skills Academy

Retail Matters Conference – 27th September 2013 The next Retail Matters conference will be held on Thursday 27th September at The Source Skills Academy, Meadowhall from 10am – 12 noon.

from The Whistle Stop Sweet Shop, the Rotherham Retail Investment Team and Robert Lane, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Group and Director at Lane Walker.

We have some fantastic speakers at the event looking to share their retail experiences. Key speakers include Catherine Morgan from Marks and Spencer, David Hanney from Planet X, James Wilson from We Love Sleep, Lee Hawksworth from Welcome to Yorkshire, Kara Chapman

For further information or to book your ticket, contact Eleanor Spence on 0114 263 5602 or email

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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Retail Independents’ Day If you were out and about in Sheffield City Centre in July, you may have noticed the vast array of independent retailers showcasing their wares as part of a national campaign to celebrate independent stores across the UK. Thousands turned out to support Retail Independents’ Day on 4th July, bringing together retailers from across the city centre to create one market place for customers. Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for Business Skills and Development at Sheffield City Council, said: “We were delighted to provide support for Independents’ Day, providing funding to promote the campaign

and to support the organisation of a quirky showcase market on Fargate. We are lucky to have a unique and vibrant offering of independent shops in Sheffield, 60% of all our retailers in the city centre are independent and we are already home to Chapel Walk, Division Street, The Nichols Building and others which are well supported by the Sheffield community. The Independents’

Market involved a range of Independent retailers from the city centre and showcased some of the best independents we have, which captured people’s imagination and brought the City Centre to life.” Next time you are looking for that perfect dress or your weekly groceries, try your local independent; you may be surprised what you find!

Ice Cream Inspiration The new Moor Markets are set to open in November this year and will bring together some of Sheffield’s best independent traders, offering a diverse shopping experience for customers all under one beautifully designed roof. One of the new traders joining the Moor Markets is Yee Kwan Ice Cream. After being made redundant from her position as a Chartered Surveyor, Yee Kwan was looking for a new opportunity and noticing a gap in the market launched her own business, Yee Kwan ice cream. With the ambition of bringing innovative flavored ice cream to Sheffield, Yee concocted a diverse selection of flavours ranging from Far Eastern best seller Matcha green tea, to the true brit inspired Bakewell tart. Yee has won two Deliciously Yorkshire Awards for her innovative ice cream and developed a relationship with Harvey Nichols who stock her ice cream at their department stores in Knightsbridge, Manchester and Leeds. Opening the store in the Moor Markets will be Yee’s first permanent retail space and she is keen to work within the store, meeting customers and embracing the buzzing market first hand. Yee’s ice cream parlour is a brand new concept for the markets and in addition to her honest handcrafted ice cream and sorbet, Yee will offer freshly baked cookies, handcrafted sauces and brittles. Andy ward, Head of Sheffield Markets said: “It’s fantastic news that more independents from the region are joining us in the new markets. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to really get their name out there and we are delighted to have Yee Kwan on board.” Yee said: “I’ve been on a real journey since opening my business and I’m really passionate about bringing unusual flavored ice cream to the local area. The business opportunities for independents are endless and it’s important to

reach new markets and let customers see for themselves how fantastic your product is. I’m delighted to be involved in the regeneration of the Moor Markets. The new building will offer a fantastic shopping experience, bringing a great energy to retail. My team and I can’t wait for the opening in November and we hope to see you all there! To keep up to date with the latest news from Yee, follow her on Twitter @yeekwanicecream and like Yee Kwan Ice Cream on Facebook.


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Retail Hub

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A Passion for Pottery Following a ‘lightbulb moment’ in 2010, Lianne Mellor decided to combine her love of illustrations with her passion for afternoon tea to create a dreamy wonderland where squirrels drink tea and badgers eat cake!


“I have always been a creative soul with a passion for pretty things and started selling my illustrations at art markets in 2008 to make a bit of pocket money from what was just a hobby at the time. I graduated with a degree in Architecture one year later and I knew my passion was in illustrations, but I had no idea how to turn it into my career. I never realised owning a business was an option to me; I had been taught at school that you get your GCSE’s, then your A Levels, followed by a degree and then progressed into a great job. When the recession hit, it was a bit of a shock and Architecture was really badly affected. Going through testing times in my career made me more resourceful and open to creating my own opportunities. When I first decided to bring together my illustrations with pottery, I was firing tea sets in my Dad’s garage and that’s where Mellor Ware was born. I’m really passionate about everything I turn my hand to and it was important that I made a success of my business. Things grew and in 2011 we started supplying Liberty of London and in 2012 I recruited my first member of staff. Emma joined us as an Apprentice and we haven’t looked back. My business has continued to grow ever since and we currently export to Belgium, Hong Kong, South Korea and America, along with supplying many independent British retailers. The range now encompasses everything from cake stands, teapots and mugs, to tea towels, aprons and christening gifts. The concept of the range is that you can collect multiple items

of chinaware, adding different characters to build your own unique tea party set. Each will then tell your own individual tale of British wildlife having a tea party! In 3-5 years time I would like Mellor Ware to be a recognised brand around the world and stocked in lots of lovely shops. I am always adding to the product lines and designs so steadily expanding into different areas for example soft furnishings and children's products. I have a strong desire to have my own Mellor Ware factory right here in Sheffield where we can manufacture all the china from scratch, keeping traditional skills alive while utilising research into great contemporary methods of production.” 0114 221 0581

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Inspiring Retailers of the Future Lisa Pogson, Director at Airmaster and member of the Retail Forum, is passionate about the importance of excellent customer service and creating a positive career path for our future retailers. Lisa started her career at 14 in a local newsagent’s chain as a Saturday girl before moving into a local independent bookshop and afterwards, working for a number of years in B&Q Hillsborough, Sheffield. With Lisa’s wealth of experience, she has seen retail evolve over the years. All these roles were alongside busy full time office management roles and helped to fund everything from a first trip abroad to buying her first house. Lisa has been working on a voluntary basis with schools across the region and would encourage local business to do the same.

“I have been involved with local schools on all sorts of projects to support entrepreneurship with students from 5-18. Without exception, these students have wanted to sell, run their own shop/stall/online shop in order to create themselves ‘wealth’. My own 5 year old tells me all the time that she wants to run her own shop! The students have used events in schools to raise awareness and funds for a number of local charities and in the process have learned accounting skills, customer service, stock control and marketing; even producing videos and jingles to advertise. Though they may not recognise it yet, these activities may be the basis for their future careers. I never cease to be inspired by them. Whilst we must recognise

that the High Streets and out of town offering is different and Omnichannel marketing for everyone’s business is the way forward, the fundamentals are the same…great customer service, strong financial management and an openness to change are the key.” Airmaster celebrates 21 years in business this year and is proud to work with retailers both locally and nationally. Involved in full mechanical services refurbishments and maintenance and responsible for designing heating and cooling of retail spaces, Airmaster has a wide range of clients from national manufacturers and supermarket chains, to local shops, doctors surgeries and office spaces.

Funding for Retail SME’s Retailers based in the Sheffield City Region may be eligible for 90% funding for customer service and retail training courses* through The Source. With courses starting at just £4.50 per person, it’s an affordable way for retailers to develop their workforce and ensure customer service is of the highest standard. Stuart McClarnan – Owner, Stuarts Fruit and Veg, Sheffield Markets said: “The Source has helped us become more profitable and grow our business in the right way. We’ve accessed customer service and retail training which has been excellent and given a boost to our business. Even though we have been operating for 10 years, there is always more to learn.” Courses range from customer service and sales, to management and business planning. Courses include the following: WorldHost - Principles of Customer Service

*£8.50 per person, normally £85.00*

WorldHost - Sales Powered By Service

*£4.50 per person, normally £65.00*

WorldHost - Frontline Management Solutions

*£8.50 per person, normally £120.00*

WorldHost - Service Across Cultures

*£8.50 per person, normally £85.00*

Guide to Successful Retailing - Retail Business Planning and Finance *£8.50 per person, normally £85.00* Guide to Successful Retailing - Driving Sales through Marketing

*£8.50 per person, normally £85.00*

Guide to Successful Retailing - Buying and Visual Merchandising

*£8.50 per person, normally £85.00*

If you are a retailer looking to grow your organisation, contact The Source on 0114 263 6652 for further information. *Subject to eligibility, please contact The Source to discuss your personal circumstances This programme is supported by The Skills Enhancement Fund which is co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency through the European Social Fund and funded by Yorkshire Forward


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Retail Hub

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It’s a Crafty Business After climbing to the top of the career ladder only to discover it didn’t meet her expectations, Diane Hemsley decided to follow her passion and opened her very own craft shop in Retford. Although the journey hasn’t been smooth sailing, Diane wouldn’t have it any other way… “When I was having a stressful time doing my highly paid but demanding job in IT I would day dream as a way of relaxing. I imagined myself running a craft shop / coffee bar with a gallery and workshop facilities. I then inherited the boss from hell and decided that I was going to give up my job and do something more creative and less stressful (ha ha). Friends of my sisters, knowing of my dream, asked me if I wanted to take on a small retail unit (stable) adjacent to theirs on a country estate. I used the profits from a house sale and a sketchy business plan and opened up my first Craft shop in September 2005. Getting suppliers proved difficult because they wanted me to have existing suppliers to give references. A couple of good suppliers gave me a chance and I still use them today. On my first day of trading I had a bit of a panic attack. I realised that I had never dreamed of being an actual shop keeper but I decided that I had invested too much to not at least give it a go. After a few days I discovered that I didn’t really like selling but that I liked the interaction with my customers, especially when I was able to teach them something new or help with a problem.


I had my first business for four years and the selling bit got easier but I found the small space impractical for running workshops and the out of town location became difficult to staff. I was on the brink of selling up when the opportunity arose of much larger town centre premises with tremendous scope for running craft workshops. My niece, fresh from university, came to help me and we built the new business up and created a website to advertise the shop and workshops. I found that town centre selling was different, before I had a new set of customers each week but now I had the same customers on a fortnightly basis. It changed the way that I stocked the shop but had no real impact on the takings. Every year I plot the monthly takings and if I were to show you the graph you would see that it has the same highs and lows at the same time every year despite any growth. I have 2 part time staff and a fantastic young man that came to do work experience for a week and has been back voluntarily every day since. After 5 years in the town centre I am about to move premises again to a shop with a bigger display window and less risk of structural damage. The cost of moving premises is almost as much as starting a new business when the decorating, solicitors and signage has been taken into consideration but I know that the move is necessary.

I would not say that my shop keeping career has been the dream that I expected it to be but it is far from being a nightmare. I consistently overspend on stock if I don’t keep a careful eye on my spending and as a result I don’t earn much money. I work roughly 6 days a week but the way I see it I have had the high powered, high earning career and ultimately I wasn’t happy. What I do now isn’t really a job; it’s more a way of life and far more rewarding.” The Craft Shop, Retford

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Retail Hub

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A Little Slice of Genius A leap of faith from construction management to food retail a year and a half ago resulted in the ‘birth’ of Urban Pantry, a fine-food delicatessen in Crookes. Since opening, owner Reece Lippolis has been working really hard to provide the right kind of products, build connections with the local community and continually grow the business by providing new services and creating cooperative associations with other businesses. “It was a big step, leaving a secure wellpaid job, to embark on such an uncertain project as starting a shop, especially in the current economic climate - but it felt right to swap my high-vis jacket for an apron! Knowing little about retail when I started made it more of a challenge, but believing in the products and having a clear aim in terms of the ‘local’ and ‘quality’ ethos made some aspects easier. “I’ve gradually built up a large range of stock and have been getting good feedback about the products we offer. The best being regular custom, of which we have a lot. I think the tricky thing at the moment for us is trying to reach out to people in other parts of Sheffield as lots of people don’t know we exist. We even open later in the evenings to accommodate customers who would like to pop in on their way home from work. So from Monday to Friday we are open 10am – 6.30pm and 9.30am – 5.30pm on Saturdays.” A significant development at Urban Pantry is the sale of cheese wedding cakes. We’re finding these are really popular because they provide such a great alternative (or addition) to a traditional cake. They look fantastic and make a great showpiece and talking point for a wedding. All of the cheeses are top quality and are very tasty but another thing that’s so great about having cheese for your wedding cake is

that every layer is different. So there’s pretty much something to suit everyone! My wife Grace and I had a cheese cake at our wedding in June this year and made sure we ordered a nice big one so we could enjoy the leftover cheese throughout our honeymoon in Cornwall! Cheese boards are also in demand, for weddings, dinner parties, business meetings and events and from social or activity groups who meet on a regular basis. We’ve recently added salad and deli boxes to our range, to provide a lunchtime option for customers. Made fresh every day, we serve them in handy take-away containers with various ingredients and a choice of dressings. Looking ahead, I’m keen to be really prepared for customers for Christmas this year. Drawing on the experience of last year, I feel we can build on the popularity of the Christmas hampers for both our individual and corporate customers. Our aim is to grow and develop the business, step-by-step, and always in response to our customers’ needs, and in a way that can be sustained into the future.” To find out more, visit or follow them on Twitter @UrbanPantryDeli


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Retail Hub

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We have Apprenticeships available in: • • • • •

Retail Customer Service Marketing Administration Warehousing

• • • • •

Management Hospitality Painting & Decorating Brickwork Motor Vehicle

“All for employment, employment for all” 08

At The Source, we believe our Employables are the future for business. The Source offers various Apprenticeships for individuals who are looking for employment and not currently at school, college or sixth form. We also offer Apprenticeships for people who are currently employed and looking to improve their skills, so there’s something for everyone! Looking for Employment We have many South Yorkshire businesses looking to employ an Apprentice. The vacancies are full time and allow you to get paid whilst studying for your Apprenticeship. Our team of Tutors visit you and your employer at work to support you through the qualification and you may spend some time at The Source too. An Apprenticeship is a great start to any career and we have vacancies ready and waiting to be filled. You can apply for one of our fantastic vacancies at – just click on the ‘Job Opportunities’ tab at the top of the page for our live vacancies. Currently Employed Apprenticeships are a great way to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst you work. Qualifications are available in a number of subject areas and can be tailored to suit you and your employer. Apprenticeships help you improve your skills, knowledge and confidence, giving you all the equipment you need for your future. The length of qualifications are a minimum of 12 months and can range to 2 years, depending on the qualification and level you undertake. Most of the training is delivered in the workplace at a time to suit you and your employer. This way our Tutors can assess you in your work environment and you don’t miss out on getting paid. We have qualifications available at different levels (level 2 or 3) to suit you and your development. You will also gain qualifications in functional skills and a technical certificate.

Employer Apprenticeships are a great way to develop the skills of a new employee or up-skill your existing workforce. There are a wide range of Apprenticeship qualifications available in a number of industry sectors to suit your business. As an employer you can become involved in Apprenticeships in two ways: Recruit an Apprentice Recruiting an Apprentice is a great way of expanding your workforce with new talent. Apprentices can develop their skills to gain a Level 2 or 3 whilst carrying out their duties in the workplace. Recruiting an Apprentice is as easy as 1,2,3: 1. Provide a job description 2. We advertise, interview and shortlist for your consideration 3. You interview and select the Apprentice to join your business. Once our Recruitment Advisors have found your perfect Apprentice and they are in post, a Work Based Tutor will carry out regular visits to support you and your Apprentice through their qualification. Up-skilling Existing Employees The Source also offers Apprenticeship courses for existing employees at all ages. Existing employees can develop their skills to gain a Level 2 or 3 qualification whilst carrying out their current duties in the workplace. You can even take this opportunity to expand the skills of individuals to take on new responsibilities. Up-skilling your existing workforce with Apprenticeship courses is a great way to: • Motivate your workforce • Increase productivity with a skilled workforce • Reduce skills shortages • Access tailor-made courses with your business/sector in mind • Succession planning

If you are an individual looking for an Apprenticeship, or a business looking to recruit an Apprentice, contact us today on

0114 263 6652 or email

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