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DTI announces - “A little Retail Therapy” 29 July 2006

The Isle of Man Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and Douglas Development Partnership (DDP) are pleased to announce the launch of a “pilot” project to support small independent retailers in Douglas town centre. The DTI and DDP have teamed up with retail specialist Martin Sewell to conduct research aimed at creating an environment in which small, independent retail businesses can flourish.

Mr Sewell has been appointed to lead a 6 month project which will initially gather information from all independent, locally owned retailers based in Douglas. From this initial consultation and questionnaire, 5 businesses will be selected which represent a cross section of the marketplace. Each of these enterprises will then receive one to one business support from Martin with the aim of creating focussed projects, “tailor made” to each individual case, to deliver clear and measurable benefits for the business. The project, which will run until early 2007, will look at business siting, purchasing, advertising, promotion, pricing, customer service and after sales service as well as areas such as image and reputation, competition and customer behaviours.

At the culmination of the pilot, the information gathered will be analysed with a view to developing a more widespread programme of support for Douglas retailers and the Isle of Man retail sector as a whole.

In announcing the initiative, the DTI Minister, Alex Downie, said “we are delighted to sponsor and support this important initiative which could provide valuable support to our many and varied independent retailers in an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace. This initial exercise will provide a vehicle for understanding the particular needs of this group and the means by which Government can assist and support the sector in future”.

For further details contact:

Mr Alex Downie, Trade & Industry Minister, phone 682394, email

Mr Adrian Moore, Development Manager, DTI, phone 687175, email

Mr C Pycroft, Development Manager, DDP, phone 612022, email

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