A few ramblings from Mrs MOOCH...

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  1. Paul and I have worked in retail for pretty much all our lives – both in shops and head office teams, and more recently as a consultancy (albeit I am using retail in its broadest sense of a business that serves customers).  I think it’s fair to say that the whole of the retail landscape is changing at a faster pace than we have ever known. The big players are disappearing off the high streets, the online players are making commodity buying simpler and simpler, and customer expectations of value and convenience are higher than ever.

    So, what does that mean for the independents? Well… in our opinion, the future of high street retailing lies with the independents. As Amazon widens it’s grasp on commodities, consumers are spending less of their precious free time in the supermarkets or DIY stores. And when they visit the high streets, they’re looking for an experience … a good choice of carefully curated products – beautiful, useful, unique, satisfying. Store environments are more important than ever – if customers are choosing to go shopping for leisure, it needs to feel, um, leisurely. I’ve already in a previous blog about how we use music to create a slow, relaxing environment, but the thing that makes the difference is the team... our team have been carefully chosen for their friendly, chatty personalities (we’re VERY proud of our team – they are superstars … we work them hard, but we also make sure we have some fun along the way). They know the products inside and out and love to find the perfect product for customers (and sometimes that means we recommend another local business!)  but we don’t do selling – that’s a rule. We’ll offer advice and suggestions – and if you just want to come in for a mooch and a chat, that’s cool. We love to chat.

    I also want to talk briefly about online; we hear a lot of chatter about how online is killing the high street. We disagree… while we work hard to make sure our customers in the shop get a great experience, we also recognise that convenience is also a critical part of our customer offer. And in a world where everything is available at the touch of a button, we use our online offer to complement our retail offering. We don’t offer our whole range online (it would be a logistical nightmare given the unique nature of a lot of our products!) but we do offer our faster moving products on there and we make sure we offer the same level of service to our online customers with beautiful wrapping and efficient delivery … now and again we even pop an extra little treat in the package to say thank you for shopping online with us.

    So – what next for the high streets? I wish we knew. The one thing we do know for sure is that customers tell us that they love what we do, so we’ll keep doing it. We’ll keep listening to what people are looking for. And we’ll keep working with industry experts and local influencers to promote local business. And if we give it everything we’ve got – there will be no regrets. 

  2. One of the values Paul and I both hold dear is that we give thanks where it’s due, and early on we decided that we wanted to use MOOCH to say thanks to two important groups of people.

    First of all – our emergency services. Over the years, we’ve had experiences of the amazing care and support our NHS provides – and we also recognise that the guys there work under the most ridiculous pressures. From the outset we decided that we’d say thanks to all our emergency services by offering 10% discount right across our ranges.

    The second group of people we offer discount to are our local councils – both the County and Borough. When we were setting up, we got amazing support from our local council. From the planners right through to the regeneration team – they gave us great advice and helped us through some unchartered territory.

    Charity

    As well as discounts for the people we feel the urge to say a big thank you too, we also picked three main charities to support. 

    Parkinsons UK – sadly our family has been touched by Parkinsons, and our till collection box goes to the team who work tirelessly to support families with Parkinsons and the research into the disease.

    Alzheimers Society – again, sadly our family has experienced just how difficult Dementia can be for . Throughout the year, we make donations to Alzheimers. We also make sure that the whole team exercises extra patience with all our customers, as we know that sometimes shopping is something that can be really stressful for anyone living with dementia.

    And finally – local charities. We get enquiries from local charities for raffle prizes and donations almost every day. We allocate items every month to our raffle box and we will always provide a prize where we can*

    TOP TIPS

    • Saying thanks makes you feel great … do it lots

    *Requests for raffle prizes must be made in person and be supported with evidence of the event taking place. Priority will always be given to charities based in Northampton that are raising funds for children, mental health projects and the elderly.