Date

You know Christmas is around the corner when the John Lewis advertisement hits the screens! In this edition of the Shop Newsletter, we look ahead to OUR Christmas.

Finances

At our recent volunteers’ evening we were able to show a contrast of our performance from 2012-2015. With all our collective efforts it is somewhat disappointing when our sales do not match profits. Although our indicators show that sales are down compared with 2012, our profits have been ahead year on year. Our profits are up again this year to the tune of £1500 and this adds to our cash position, which stands in excess of £26,000. This is really important because it means we can replace old and inefficient equipment. In the last 12 months we have bought two new chillers and we already have cash set-aside for further improvements in 2016.

Christmas

Yes, the turkeys are back! We have been building an excellent trading relationship with Wykham Farm Shop and their farm fresh meat is proving very popular with our regular customers. More often not, there will be fresh meat available at weekends and orders taken by 10am each Wednesday are delivered to the shop Thursday afternoon courtesy of one of our volunteer drivers.

We will be extending this service for Christmas with a deadline for orders Thursday 10th December for collection December 22nd.

Do try us and you will be guaranteed excellent farm fresh quality at the same price you would pay if YOU travelled to Wykham. In addition, we will have fresh seasonal fruit and vegetable, chocolates, cheeses, beers, wines and spirits and many other food goodies. Great for presents! Why not get the shop to put a hamper together for you?

Feedback from customers and volunteers

We would not survive without our loyal customers and volunteers. That so, we decided to ask both groups how we rate. We were able to analyse 36 questionnaires from customers and 19 from our volunteers. Here are the results (and some comments) and we are really proud of what people are saying to us. We also have some comments that will help us improve and we are grateful for everyone who took the time to tell us what they think.

Customers:
Wide range of goods 65%
 Competitive prices   77%
 Friendly & welcoming environment  94%
 Layout & presentation   91%
 Will I remain a loyal customer?   98%
 Did the shop meet your needs today?  90%
Comments (what I like about using the shop)
The shop is outstanding;
 Opening hours are generous and staff are always so friendly;
 Stock for a small shop is outstanding
 Nice friendly staff within walking distance
 Shop is a great asset to the village; fruit & veg much improved with new supplier
 The shop is the most important aspect of where we live – I think it’s excellent
 Being able to get cash-back. I’ll happily buy things in order to do so
Volunteers
Pleasant & friendly working environment  84%
 Providing guidance & Direction   73%
 Providing motivational feedback for a good job   73%
 Providing developmental feedback (when mistakes happen)  61%
 Meeting your needs as a volunteer   87%
 Intention to remain a volunteer   86%
Comments (what I like about working at the shop)

 Meeting & chatting to people; hearing village news
 Community spirit; helping the village
 Helping to maintain a village shop
 Working with a partner; being part of a team
 Bridgette (manager) makes the shop more efficient, nice to have her support
 Having a busy shop

NEWS & VIEWS
  • The Saturday Club - This has now been running since September and we have a rota running (with the odd gap) until February next year. Thanks to Mark Tribe who has done a great job getting this off the ground.
  • Training - Kathy and Rosemary will be holding refresher sessions for till volunteers in early January. The format was presented at the recent volunteers’ evening and will cover a list of approximately 20 important items. If you want to be included, please contact Kathy and Rosemary.
  • Car park - Sally has taken this on and we have appointed a contractor to cut back and generally tidy up this area.
  • Maintenance - We STILL need help with shop maintenance – especially defrosting the freezers. If you can help, please contact Bridgette.
  • Annual stock-take - Don’t forget to join the team Sunday January 3rd. Bridgette will update you with times and details.
  • Rota – We have a new rota volunteer, Gaynor Taylor (and husband Geoff) who will take over the duties from Jane starting January. Welcome both and a HUGE thank you to Jane who took on this vital role at the start of the year.
Spotlight on the Volunteers

This month we have decided to honour ALL volunteers who attended the recent evening at the Swan. The management committee were able to give an update on shop performance, present the results of the surveys and look at plans for Christmas. We had around 30 volunteers present and we were able to have an open discussion with many constructive ideas for improving OUR shop. When you consider that around 400 village shops shut each year leaving many, many people without easy access to household essentials, we can all feel mighty proud of the contribution we all make for our community. Have a wonderful Christmas and do come and see what we have to offer – we don’t have a glossy ad to show you - but who needs an ad when you can have the REAL DEAL!

John, Sally, Bridgette, Stuart & Mark

The Shop Committee