James and Maria had a great day visiting the Plunkett’s Community Enterprise Networking and Training Event and AGM at the beautiful Bicester Hotel (Lovely Golf and Spa) in Chesterton. It was inspiring to meet so many community members and hear about the hard work and unique issues that local community shops face today – here’s Maria’s round-up of the days events.
After setting up our little table that displayed a small selection of our gift packaging and bags for life, using our wonderfully easy to set up Kingsley X Range and finished off with a Kingsley Chitting tray trolley (excuse the shameless product plug, but it really did make light work of our set up!
We dropped in on several sessions: Training, recruiting and managing volunteers, Plunkett’s vision for food and farming, Marketing your enterprise and Cultivating networks. Not only were they brilliant presented, but they really helped to give an insight into the diverse issues faced by community shops today. The needs of different communities are all so unique, but at the same time you share the common goal of providing a service to local communities, whilst ensuring financial viability and providing a secure future and extension of services.
Plunkett Community Shop Awards
We were lucky enough to be invited to be part of the judging panel for the Plunkett Community Shop Award for ‘Creative Display’. As we all know, a well presented shop can make all the difference to profits and encourage sales of new lines of fresh local food and produce. There’s no doubt that making your shop a pleasurable place to be in and offering new services will entice customers back in, time after time. However, working with so many independent retailers, we at WBC understand that, knowing it and putting it into practice at the same time is a whole different ball game. There is a lot of hard work behind the display and presentation of a shop, and we’re all for rewarding ones that inspire. To win the ‘Creative Display’ award, Plunkett wanted to hear what your shop does differently:
- How do you make a feature of high value, or short life produce?
- How have you used everyday materials differently, to create a high impact but low budget display?
- Are you using your display space to engage with other groups in the local community?
- Do you feature a variety of themes throughout the year to feature different products and host community events?
Plunkett were also keen to learn how creative display has boosted sales to help the sustainability of your community business and understand the strategy behind your sales.
The applications were strong and the three shortlisted were:
The judging process was incredibly fair and we were really impressed with the democratic process, really thorough and very transparent – although sadly only one community shop was able to win the £500 prize for this category!
And the Winner is!
The award for this category went to Ewelme Village Store. Congratulations guys! You really understood the requirements and showed an incredibly thorough understanding of how to use creative display to improve the customer experience – a huge congratulations from all of us at WBC!
As a special gift from us, we’d love to offer all three of the shortlisted applicants a FREE space on one of the training sessions at WBC’s Retail School. As a member of The Plunkett Foundation, WBC offers all Plunkett members a 5% discount off all our trade prices from any product in our range of Gift Packaging, Bags for Life or Retail Display, so remember to mention this when placing your next order online or over the telephone so that we can apply your exclusive discount.
We are thoroughly inspired by everything Community Shops are bringing to the retail sector. We want to continue to enhance the offering that WBC and Plunkett bring you each year, and that includes plenty of exclusive offers over the next few months so watch this space! Please do connect with us on our social media platforms, on twitter and facebook- as well as our blogs. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all, I’ll be your main point of contact: Maria Tross 020 7737 4040 or on email@example.com
Helping rural communities through community-ownership and advice, to take control of the issues affecting them.
- Support rural communities looking to set up and run community-owned shops
- Help rural communities to set up a wide range of community-owned enterprises, social enterprises and co-operatives to provide vital rural services
- Enable community food and farming enterprises to set up and run successfully
Visit Plunkett and join them today.