Posted: 19 July 2018
Frances Bishop, former Apprentice contestant and owner of The Pud Store was recently on BBC breakfast news talking about her approach to retail. And what she said resonated with us. So we did a bit more research about Frances and her retail strategy, and we think you’ll find it interesting.
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I may be utterly bonkers, but I truly believe that if councils, retailers and the government stop being so short sighted, the high street can be saved. https://t.co/ePLzZjZm0I
— Frances Bishop (@franbishop_) July 4, 2018
The Pud Store is a designer children’s clothes boutique that sells at discount outlet prices. There are two stores, one in Doncaster and one in Newark. Not exactly thriving high streets, and yet the Pud stores continue to go from strength to strength. But how?
We have talked a lot about the importance of providing an experience for customers, and Bishop is likeminded, in fact, to quote,
“If they are coming in to your store…you should treat them in a way that makes them feel special, cared (for) and valued, and that is my entire ethos”.
Yes! This is exactly it. The complacency of retailers, particularly those larger stores, has turned shoppers away from the high street. With internet shopping, products can be bought from anywhere at any time, and you can always find it cheaper somewhere. Products really have become a commodity. So to get people on to the high street, to get them walking in to your store, you need to offer something more.
The Pud Store does this and then some. Let’s take a look.
Ah, what the heck, let’s quote Frances again,
“Shopping with children shouldn’t have to be stressful and rushed, and in our stores we try our very best to facilitate an easy and enjoyable experience, that is memorable and ‘stand-out’ enough to ensure repeat custom”.
It’s all about how you sell. I won’t quote directly this time but to paraphrase, the theory behind Bishop’s approach is that, of course, anyone can sell a dress, so to make the sale it is about how you sell that dress and how you deliver that experience. You need the best product, at the best price and with the best possible customer service.
We’ll paraphrase again here. For Bishop, it’s about telling a story and she tells this story through the live videos on social media. It engages the shoppers, encouraging them to buy but also makes them want to visit the store, supporting the business model as a whole.
Parents of twins...I salute you!
— Frances Bishop (@franbishop_) June 13, 2018
However, interestingly, Pud does not have a website. Well, not quite. Frances talks about it during the BBC interview, quite proudly stating that they do not have a website. It isn’t too clear what her business reasons are behind this decision, and in fact, there is now a website under construction, so she seems to have backtracked on this. And to be honest I can only think is a good thing. The website will serve to tell Pud’s story far and wide, and to engage and enthuse more customers than social media alone.
And therein lies the end of our Frances Bishop lesson in retail. To summarise what we have learnt from Bishop and Pud;
It’s not exactly rocket science when listed out like that, is it? And yet so many retailers are faltering because they fail to follow these basic steps.
If you have enjoyed hearing about Pud’s retail strategy, you may also like to read our recent article about the High Street.
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