There is a feeling you get when you walk into one of your favourite independent stores. It’s like walking into a friend’s home. There is the welcoming personal greeting and the chance for a catch up. It is also like walking into a treasure trove of beautiful things that seem to have been chosen specifically for you. Every individual store has its own particular feel and character, its own vital individuality. Large chains can never replicate these touches.
At Jayley our flexibility of supply enables us to work mainly with independents. We have many different stores with different customers who have different needs but certain things hold true across all of them.
We see first hand how well good independent shops know their regular customers, their habits and needs. This informs their choices enabling them to buy exactly the right stock whilst their size allows them to respond quickly to trends. Often at trade shows and buying appointments we hear buyers citing special regular customers and making choices just for them, showing just how well they have developed their relationships with their customers over the years.
Good independents are also proactive in learning about new customers, and in dealing with all their customers. They take their time to ask the right questions to enable them to make the right recommendations and build trust, just as we at Jayley try to do when advising on our own products.
Coronavirus and its resulting lockdowns may have hit bricks and mortar retailers hard but there has been much news coverage of how shoppers have turned not just to larger brands with a strong online presence but how they have made a point of visiting their local grocery and general stores, often finding what they need there rather than in the larger supermarkets. There is hope from the retailers we have spoken to that as the lockdown lifts, consumers will continue trying to support their local independent stores.
At Jayley we want to continue doing all we can to help our retail partners during this challenging time and beyond. We have always been flexible in our supply promise, offering next day delivery as standard, no minimums on repeat orders and regular new developments to help you keep your range looking fresh.
During the last few months we have introduced new product categories and explored new supply models such as direct despatch to customers. Earlier this month the introduction of video calls through Zoom was launched to enable our retailers to view our clothes range and chat to their sales representative.