Lossie firm shows true grit in face of downward trend for local shops

Royce Clark (right) – plans to extend support for local community

The mantra for Moray’s town centres has been ‘shop local’ – and for at least one store in one town the public do seem to be paying attention.

Grampian Furnishers on Lossiemouth’s Queen Street is the largest shop in town – and, it would seem, is very much bucking the trend down in the Jewel.

Like most Moray towns, Lossiemouth has seen a retail downturn with many shops closing – but a lot of hard work has gone into marketing Grampian Furnishers and as a result the shop continues to go from strength to strength.

This is underlined with the recent recruitment of two new members of staff, taking the total to 15.

Last year the business enjoyed an increase in sales of 6% – now owner Royce Clark has revealed that mid-year results to September show further increase, sales moving up 14% on the same period last year.

Royce said: “Taking into account the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Referendum all taking place during this period, it really is a great achievement for a small local business.”

Asked what made this remarkable success story possible, Royce explained that continual re-investment and development in the business has been the key. He said: “Keeping things fresh and the continued development of our website is now starting to produce significant sales from all over the UK.”

There has been talk of the business opening a second store or even moving the entire operation to Elgin, fuelled by a question posted on the Grampian Furnishers Facebook page seeking the opinions of customers on what the business should do to move forward.

Negotiations over a unit in the Elgin Retail Park ended without agreement being reached – and this promoted the owner to commit to the Lossiemouth store remaining open in the immediate future while retaining the option to explore other avenues.

It is believed that there are currently three possible options in Elgin on the table for Grampian Furnishers, one could yet be a second store while the other two would replace the Lossiemouth store with larger premises.

Asked of his future plans the owner admitted being excited about where the business is going, telling insideMoray: “Next year will see us celebrate our 40th birthday and we have lots of things planned to help celebrate this with our loyal customer base.

“The highlight of that is a £4000 makeover prize for one lucky customer – together with a monthly donation to a local charity/group which we will be asking our customers to nominate.

“It really could be an amazing year ahead and although there is a strong possibility that we will open another shop we are continually investing in our current premises, with the interior undergoing a makeover in recent months and new signage going up this week.”

It’s refreshing to see a small local business doing well and attracting business into Lossiemouth and Moray from all over the UK – certainly Grampian Furnishers is one local company to watch in 2015!

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