February 2019


ale micropub, and we worked with a local vinyl record shop called Just For The Record, who put a display in the window. It was a success. Ronnie Ashley: It raised our profile.

Q: How’s the new branding and the refit gone down with your customers? LA: People have been really positive – our old customers are saying that the shop looks lovely. We’ve had some really nice feedback about everything – the refit and the new look. Once we’ve explained that it’s still us, Trafalgar, they’re happy. Some people don’t like change and can be a bit nervous. RA: We love the new branding – it’s a fresher look.

Q: Has the new look brought in any new customers? RA: We’ve seen some new faces, but we still haven’t pushed it like we need to, as we were busy over Christmas.

Q: How was Christmas? RA: Compared with previous years, it was rubbish! LA: Christmas was a busy period, but it wasn’t what we expected it to be. It’s the high street in Rugby – shops are closing down more than they’re opening up. RA: There are more empty shops every month. I don’t want to use the Brexit word, but there are certainly things that have happened within the last 12 months… Look at Maplin and Toys R Us – if you can’t sell electronics and toys, then it’s crazy.

Q: You’ve been embracing social media. How’s that going? LA: We’re getting to grips with it – each month we get into a routine. You can keep going deeper into it,

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 Lisa Ashley


with things like Google Analytics, which we’re learning about. We want our online activity and our store to work together – that’s the plan. If people can find us online, they can then come to the store. We ask all our new customers how they heard about us – lots of people find us online and we can monitor the traffic. The website still needs tweaking.

Q: The website isn’t transactional. Are you planning to sell online? RA: I want to, but it’s the upkeep – product prices change daily.

Q: Are you working with any new suppliers? RA: KEF and TEAC – we’ve sold a lot of TEAC all-in-one systems, which have a turntable, CD recorder and cassette player.

Q: When we last visited, you

were selling Bosch smart home accessories. Is that still the case? LA: We had the products, but Bosch has now pulled them out of independents. RA: I’m now a bit dubious about whom to get into bed with when it comes to smart home products.

I’m going

to see Habitech [home entertainment and home automation distributor] to find out if they’ve got what we need.

Q: What about smart white goods? RA: We’re selling Bosh, Neff , Siemens and Hoover connected appliances.

Q: Are people coming in-store and asking for connected white goods? LA: No – we need to push that on social media to try and raise some interest and get new customers through the door who want to see connected appliances demonstrated.

Q: You’re still planning to have a smart home apartment upstairs, aren’t you? RA: It’s on hold until I can get someone to supply me with products that we can sell and who can support us. LA: We need business to pick up before we can re-invest. The space is there and we want to use it, but it will cost us. We’d love to do it, but it’s got to pay for itself.

Q: So what’s next? RA: Home cinema and home automation. LA: We really want to get the smart stuff off the ground.

We’ll be revisiting Ashley’s at a later date to get an update on their progress with the smart apartment.

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