Trafalgar Electronics – ERT’s adopted Turning Point retailer – has rebranded as Ashley’s and finally unveiled its new look and store design, but its plans to install a smart home apartment have been put on hold. Sean Hannam paid them a visit to find out more…


‘We’re glad we started on this journey – we had to do it’

T wo years ago, Rugby independent retailer

Trafalgar Electronics set out on a journey to transform their business. Inspired by ERT’s Turning Point initiative, they decided to refit their store, rebrand their company as Ashley’s – after the surname of owners Ronnie and Lisa – embrace the smart home and get to grips with social networking and digital marketing. It hasn’t always been easy – they encountered

problems with tradesmen and suppliers, which put them behind schedule, and they still haven’t been able to create the smart home apartment in the upstairs area of the store, but the new look and design are now in place – Ashley’s unveiled the rebranding at a successful launch event in October last year – and the marketing and social media activity is starting to reap rewards. “We’re glad we started on this journey – we couldn’t have not done it,” says Ronnie. Adds Lisa: “We weren’t happy with things as they were.”

And what have they learnt from it? “You have to be careful who you spend your money with when it comes to advice on social media and websites,” warns Ronnie.

So what advice would they give to other independents who are thinking about overhauling their businesses?

“Definitely do it, but try and do things in-house after you’ve gone to see people to find out what you need to do. The trouble with getting people to do stuff for you is that they’re not reactive enough. We’re still learning,” says Ronnie. Adds Lisa: “You also need to talk to your suppliers and tell them what you want to do. Things are now so different on the high street than they were a year ago – I’m glad we did all the changes when we did. We had to push ourselves and now we’re ready to go.”

Q: So, you’ve now got the downstairs of the shop refitted and the new signage up. When did that happen? Lisa Ashley: We had the new fascia up in mid- October, ahead of our launch event.

Q: How was the launch? LA: It was really good – we had a Yamaha MusicCast turntable on demonstration for the day and Blomberg supported us with goodie bags. We had food and drink from a local café and a real

You have to be careful who you spend your money with when it comes to advice on social media and websites Ronnie Ashley

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