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every day. In particular, they are pleased to hear customers' suggestions about things they would like to see the store doing next.
cuts are being felt by local older people and they need even more support in areas like benefits claims, working out what social care needs they have and how to pay for them.
And plans for the future should see the charity go from strength to strength, and its operations streamlined.
Mr O'Brien added: "I think our retail business is different from others because of the passion of all the staff and volunteers, what we stand for and what we raise money for."
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"There is still so much to do but in our three year business plan, we are surpassing our targets for year one.
the service customers receive in the store, whether it is finding a perfect present or a sofa, is what sets them apart from otherThis year, the pair hopes to increase online offers when the website re launches in the coming months.
For 21 years the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction has drawn families from all over the world to engage in the creations of the celebrated LakelandBut a significant investment in 2006 saw the relocation of the shop within the attraction, increasing the selling space by 20 per cent and truly turning the spotlight on retail ambitions.
design led gifts and furniture.
Husband and wife team Andrew and Jacqueline Ward launched Armstrong Ward in 2005 and aimed to fill a gap in the market in South Lakeland for quality, Rolex Watches For Women Gold
Since then, the pair have taken the business from strength to strength. In 2008, they launched an e commerce site and in 2010 developed a mail order catalogue. And there are more plans for
"We have opened shops in Milnthorpe and Ambleside in the last year and put a lot of focus on online selling, sending items all over the world. Essentially we have embraced a new attitude towards
They believe that the imaginative way products are displayed and Rolex Submariner Blue Red
proved to be a commercially astute move.
In 2008 the charity's trustees cautiously took the decision to invest in its shops now in Kendal, Grange over Sands, Windermere, Ulverston, Milnthorpe and Ambleside; a Guess Reversible Tote Handbag
Armstrong Ward stocks homeware, gifts and furniture such as Emma Bridgewater, Wesley Barrell and Orla Kiely, as well as locally produced products such as Sedbergh Soap. Mr and Mrs Ward say they are
The charity's retail success can also be seen in the number of staff, almost doubling in the last 12 months from 10 to 18.
expansion this year to grow sales with a website re launch.
passionate about seeking out new things to stock and enjoy choosing their ranges.
move they need not have
been afraid of. Head of retail John O'Brien said: "During this financial year, spending
innovator and we reflect this in the way we drive the business forward." A decision to specialise solely on Potter branded products rather than a mixture of generally available tourist merchandise
They admit to being 'obsessive' about finding lovely things that excite them and say that they owe their success to the fact that they respect and listen to customers, which they say inspires them
Chief Executive Andy Poole said: "The primary aim of the business is to complement Beatrix Potter's work and faithfully recreate her stories with attention to detail. Beatrix Potter was a great
Staff want to increase their collections activity to more remote areas of South Lakeland and to further develop the charity's online presence with a dedicated e commerce website.
how charities can make money."
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