20 of us met for a drink and chat round the log fire in the Swan. At 7pm we moved into the new function room for our Team Meeting. Richard Squires welcomed all present and outlined the plan for the meeting. John Cull then defined the management roles and responsibilities following the strategy review. Each of the management group updated the meeting on what had gone well, was still in hand and hadn’t been so good in their own areas. Richard then summarised the key successes and ongoing concerns for the shop before everyone completed a “traffic light” activity, the results of which are as follows:

RED (Stop Doing):

  • Remove past its best veg from shelves
  • Avoid over-ordering eg bread needs better instructions
  • Go back to pre-ordered papers only
  • Stop wasting so much space for a few papers
  • Review bake off

YELLOW (Keep Doing)

  • Tastings and Social activities
  • Providing meat
  • Shop News
  • Website brilliant
  • Events to include the Village
  • Wine selection
  • Stick to new opening hours only change summer/winter

GREEN (Start Doing)

  • Give out feedback forms to customers, get broader feedback from village
  • Improve the paper system
  • Close for 1 hour at lunchtime
  • Get Shop News to those without internet
  • More interesting stock on shelves in front of till to tempt shoppers
  • We are not a supermarket
  • Keep follow on diary to show selling trends eg croissants
  • Items for garden enthusiast eg seeds
  • Wear Name Badges
  • Suggestion book. stickers for customers
  • More social events for shop team & others
  • Become info hub for village, eg info on roads/floods
  • Give volunteers a longer training period before going solo
  • Market to neighbouring villages
  • New till trainees to have “buddy” to call on when solo
  • Stock local cheeses, Ox/Glos
  • Consider use of a marketing student to help on placement
  • Mail shot the whole village community with results and ask for more use v supermarkets
  • Maybe a tiny table for drinks and food in-house
  • Have a photo ID board for current staff/vols
  • Opening hours for summer/winter
  • Bar/chair for customers to have tea/coffee
  • Make Essential products reasonably priced and more visible
  • Vols need to now how much bake-off to cook

John outlined the management team’s priorities for 2014, also stressing the need for more volunteers and the need to step up to fill management committee roles.

This was followed by a Question and Answer session:

Q.1. Ash is concerned about the newspapers. Pre-orders are not always picked up and there is a shortage and uncertainty with spare papers.

A.1. A decision will be made at the end of February as to whether we revert to the old system or keep persevering with the new.

Q2. Ann suggested we use the magazine racke for papers on sale and return sweets to their original position. She added we should focus on the fact that we are not a supermarket and that we do provide a different sort of service. We need to show that we care about our customers and want to know what they want.

A.2. Put a chalk board on the wall inviting customers to write what they think we should be stocking in the shop and any other comments.

Q.3. Sue B suggested maybe the staff could be more welcoming, perhaps use non-till volunteers to chat/help with customers – Smile, Sell, Serve.

A.3. The staff could be more pro-active suggesting to customers “Have you seen this or that”.

Q.4. Mark and Roxanne asked how could we get more people into the shop.

A.4. We need to advertise the fact that we have the “essentials” not just posh stuff in the shop and to do a leaflet drop to that effect. Other suggestions included a notice in the pub and if someone has an event or party that we might approach them and suggest we provide the wine etc. Maybe new residents should get a guided tour.

Q.5. Ken James was very concerned about the lack of space in the store room because of excessive files taking up precious shelf space. A.5. Some files are already in Tiddy Hall (and under Stuart’s bed!). There is a need to make more space for them possibly in the loo.

Q.6. Debra suggested advertising via the Pub.

A.6. John agreed and added Tiddy Hall too.

Frozen Produce

Bridgette wanted to report on BB times for frozen meat.
Sausages & Bacon - Three Months.
Joints, Chops, Mince, Chicken Joints etc - Six Months.

These items should show the date frozen. Products that arrive frozen, showing a Best Before Date, MAY be sold after that date at a reduced price. The Customer then accepts the fact that the item may no longer be of premium quality. Everyone was again asked to look out for other people either to work in the shop or to start using it. There is a serious need for people to stand up and join the Committee – the sooner the better. It was also agreed that there should be a Team meeting twice a year with a further social meeting once a year. Richard thanked everyone for attending and the meeting ended about 8.30pm.