Councillor Tony Dignum, leader of Chichester District Council, has congratulated four independent businesses who have won recognition for their festive window displays.
The competition was open to independent businesses that took part in the council’s retail training programme, which was run by IBD Business Advice Group.
Businesses were invited to create a Christmas window display using techniques they had learnt from the training. Entries were judged on a range of criteria including: how the products were displayed; the use of space; props and graphics within the display, and the overall appearance of the shop front.
The winners were chosen by IBD Business Advice Group and are as follows: Timothy Roe Fine Jewellery – winner of the product based business category for Chichester.
Tim Roe, owner of Timothy Roe Fine Jewellery, said: “We feel fantastic to have been chosen as a winner. Our team worked really hard to design and put together our Christmas window display. We enjoyed the Retail Training Programme and found it really useful, especially learning how to analyse the way our customers look at the displays.
“This helped us to determine where to position the products in our display to ensure they can be seen by customers walking by from different directions. We’re really proud of our window display and delighted with the result.”
The Upholsterer was the winner of the product based business category for Petworth and Midhurst. Laura Jandac runs the shop with her husband Milos, who came up with the main idea for this year’s snowglobe window display.
And she said: “I absolutely loved the training programme; the trainers really know their stuff. It wasn’t too serious, but it was really useful and we really enjoyed it. We’ve been here for ten years and there are always things you can do better. Sometimes when you are busy you can overlook small things and the trainers pointed out that often it’s those small things that people notice.
“We don’t do big window displays in our day to day work, it’s usually just for Christmas but the trainers had lots of good tips for how to improve the window on a day to day basis, for example the sorts of things that people will notice. The programme was good for making you ask yourself why you do things and making you slow down and think about what you are doing.”
Let’s Go Back Retro & Vintage Shop was the winner of the product based business category for Selsey and East Wittering. Christine Barrett runs the shop, which is based in East Wittering. She said: “Doing the retail training programme has helped me to think more about the IT side of the business. I started the shop four years ago and it’s great being situated in Wittering Walk because we are a variety of small businesses.
“The shop was only meant to be a retirement hobby but as time has progressed I’ve become more and more involved with it and I’m enjoying it a great deal. This course has been very helpful to me for getting ideas, and I’m looking forward to my one-to-one session with the trainers where I will be able to get a bit more IT advice, for example about using computers and the marketing side of things, which will be really helpful.”
The winner of the service based business category across all five locations was Chaplins Coffee House Ltd. Jill and Hayley Alan, owners of Chaplins Coffee House Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have won ‘best Christmas window’ for service based retailers across all five towns. Our Christmas display was all handmade and is inspired by the Old Cinema building Chaplins operates from.
“We started as a small ice cream and milk shake shop in 2011 and have grown year on year with the support of the local community holiday makers and great staff into the coffee shop we are today.
“We were contacted by IBD Businesses Advice Group earlier this year and invited to join monthly meetings which were being run through Chichester District Council for local independent businesses. The meetings were informal and offered advice from advertising to effectively running a business day to day with one to one follow ups by Jason and Lucy the speakers at the meetings throughout this coming January. We therefore would like to thank everyone involved for their help and enthusiasm in our business.”
Sally Pepper and Jason Hayward, from IBD Business Advice Group said: “We’ve had a wonderful and challenging time judging the windows competition that we set as part of the Retail Programme. The competition allowed us to see the execution and implementation of display principles and was a bit of fun.
“Everyone that participated has shown improvements, and I’m sure you’ll agree the winners are outstanding. It’s been a pleasure to get to know the retail owners and work with such a diverse group of businesses. We wish all the independents in all five towns huge success over the festive season and beyond.”
Councillor Dignum added: “I would like to congratulate our winners and all of the businesses who took part in our Christmas window display competition. Judging by the quality of the window displays we have seen, it is clear that businesses have learnt a lot from the Retail Training Programme and have been able to put this into practice.
“Collectively, independent businesses are a major employer and are vital to the economy and to our high streets. We offer a range of support for independent businesses in the district including training, advice, grants, and networking opportunities.”
Our picture shows, from left: Melanie Burgoyne, Economic Development Manager for Chichester District Council; Colin Hicks, Chairman of Chichester Business Improvement District; Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council and Timothy Roe, shop owner.