really – the staff need to know what they are selling and product knowledge is key, especially when we try and replicate those cooking demos at our own customer events. The staff here are brilliant; in fact, our longest- serving employee has been with us about 32 years. We are a family and a family-run business and I like to make sure that everyone turns up every day and does a great job. We’re always really keen to get customer feedback, too, so we’ll keep in touch with customers to ensure the service they got was up to standard. This is passed on to the teams as it’s important to learn from all feedback.

On our website we have over 2,000 five-star

reviews, which is an amazing tool to give customers the confidence to shop with us.


Q: Do you do much business through your website? SC: Until about 18 months ago, our website was purely a shop window. But then we became transactional. It’s all set up to display live stock levels and delivery information, which I think the modern customer requires these days. The beauty is if something sells in store it is immediately removed from the website, but if customers call up with their enquiry and we can advise them accordingly. This is an area of the business that we are developing massively, and we’ve recently added our new kitchen pages to the site, which are already driving a lot of traffic. We’re using Digital NRG, which works with Sirius

Buying Group members, for all our SEO and website analytics. They’re helping to identify which parts of the website aren’t quite up to scratch and what needs improving. There is a new generation people now that use the internet on their phones and tablets for pretty much everything. So I think not having a website, even just a small one, is retail suicide to be honest with you. There are a lot of businesses out there all competing with each other, so even a basic but

attractive website is a start. You’ve got to have some presence online nowadays.

The first things I look at on other people’s websites

are the reviews and what support is available; when things go wrong it’s the first place people go to make a complaint. At Borshch we’ve got real people in store and our service is second-to-none – we’re not just a click-and-go type of company.

Q: What’s your view on the future of the electrical retail sector? SC: It’s tough out there, no doubt about that. You can blame general elections, blame Brexit, or blame the press for scare mongering people, but there is no pattern to the retail trade anymore; the market is changing and people are upset it’s not how it used to be years ago.

I mean, weekends used to be phenomenal trading days, as did bank holidays, but now you don’t know what day of the week will be your best; even online there is no pattern – it’s all over the place. Electrical retailers have got to future-proof

themselves; if you stand still then business will too, it’s that simple. Explore different areas that you can grow that will make you stand out. Customers can walk into any multiple and buy what they need, so what is going to make them shop with you instead?

Q: What does the future hold for your business? SC: The big thing for us now is this new style of destination store, which we will try and replicate at the other places we’ve got. I’m confident that selling kitchens is really going to work for us, just based on the feedback and experience we’ve had so far. If we take on a new store we’ll definitely set it up like the new Erdington branch – this will be our new style going forward. And I do believe there aren’t many businesses like Borshch around in the Midlands area, in fact we’re the only business in the area offering accessible, inclusive and multi- generational kitchens. We’ve got every base covered I feel, so hopefully that means we’re doing enough to continue developing the business way into the future.

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