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DTI to expand retail consultancy programme to Ramsey 21 August 2008

The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) is pleased to announce the expansion of their independent retailer consultancy programme to Ramsey from September 2008.

This follows on from the successful work done with independent retailers in Douglas in conjunction with the Douglas Development Partnership and experienced retail consultant Martin Sewell who will also be involved in the Ramsey programme.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon David Cretney MHK, explained the reasoning behind the decision to expand the programme to Ramsey:

“My Department recognises that the retail industry in the Isle of Man plays a key role in influencing the quality of life in the Isle of Man and contributes significantly to the economy and employment opportunities, while at the same time providing important support to the tourism industry.

Independent retailers play an important role in our towns and villages, but may need support to achieve their full potential. I am delighted that the retail consultancy programme implemented in Douglas over the last year or so has been a success, helping around 30 local retailers to boost revenues and meet customer needs. I am therefore pleased to announce the extension of this programme to Ramsey. I believe that participating retailers in Ramsey will greatly benefit from this initiative as many independent retailers in Douglas have done. It is my intent to expand this initiative to other towns, subject to its performance in Ramsey.

This is one of a number of measures my Department is progressing to aid the retail sector. As I hope many people are aware, we have recently published the most detailed study ever into the Island’s retail sector and look forward to consultation feedback from all elements of our community. Also, my Department is working with the sector to help retailers reduce their energy consumption, saving them money and helping protect our environment. Furthermore, my Department is working on a new proposal to help local retailers combat the threat posed by rapidly-growing internet sales from outside the Island. Together I believe these measures show my Department’s continuing commitment to helping ensure a strong retail sector in the Isle of Man.”

Mr Cretney added:

“I am also Chairman of the regeneration project for Douglas town centre, where Government will work closely with Douglas Corporation and the private sector through Douglas Development Partnership. I believe this will help to ensure Douglas continues to improve as the Island’s principal shopping and leisure hub, complementing the other initiatives my Department and this Government are taking to support the retail sector in meeting the shopping and leisure needs of the Island’s residents.”

Martin Sewell said of the proposed programme:

“Over the last 2 years I have been advising a number of retailers in Douglas on developing their businesses, helping to improve service and grow revenues and profits, often with dramatic results. Therefore I am hoping that a nucleus of enthusiastic retailers will take the opportunity to take part in the programme for Ramsey. With the help of the DTI, I am looking forward to working with retailers in Ramsey to help improve the retail environment for both customers and the businesses themselves.”

The proposed programme takes place in two phases. The first phase invites all independent retailers in Ramsey town centre to express an interest in participating in the scheme over 3 months from September 2008 and will also establish the nature of the business issues facing Ramsey retailers.

During the second phase a number of retail businesses are selected to participate. Each of the participating retailers will then receive one to one business support from Martin Sewell with the aim of creating focussed projects, tailor made to each individual case, to deliver clear and measurable benefits for the business. The programme will look at things such as purchasing, advertising, promotion, pricing, customer service and after-sales service as well as areas such as image and reputation, competition and customer behaviours.

Further information

Hon. David Cretney, MHK, Minister for Trade & Industry
01624 682350
Adrian Moore, DTI Business Development Manager, Retail
01624 687175

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