What's keeping my till ringing?

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Tess Flower, owner of The Village Shop, in Upper Dicker, East Sussex, says her range of local produce is pulling in the punters and helping her store to compete against the competition.

“I try and get as many local suppliers in the store as I can,” Tess explains. “The deal is that anyone who approaches me about selling their local products in the store agrees that I take 35% of the profits, which seems to work well.

“I know that I can’t compete with Tesco on price and the people in the village will order their shopping online if I offer the same products as them, so my rule is to basically offer the products they can’t offer like local free range eggs.

“We sell about 1,000 a week in our shop and café and we stock other niche items, like local honey, that they can’t buy anywhere else. We have to offer customers something special over the supermarkets, which is how we keep our regular customers coming back every week.”

Star performers: “Unpasteurised dairy products like our local milk and cheese have become very popular with shoppers, as they offer them something a bit different.”

Successful NPD: “Speciality soft drinks tend to do well for us and we’ve just brought in a new blackberry cordial last week. It’s made locally and is selling really well.”

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