Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2022

81 RETAILER INTERVIEW haven’t been any shows for a couple of years so it’s great to get back and see what’s out there. Are you looking to open more stores across the UK? I am not looking to open more stores in the UK but have an idea for a new venture should a suitable premise become available in Hertford. What has been your standout moment since opening the store, and why? A stand-out moment was being voted as a finalist in the LOVE Hertford Awards last year and being asked to be the main feature of an article in the local magazine regarding the re-opening of the high street. It is great to be recognised and appreciated by the locals. How has coronavirus affected your store/ in what ways are you positive about the future of independent retail? There has obviously been a negative impact from the combination of COVID and Brexit but there is still a lot of local support and thankfully our overheads are relatively low so we’re managing to weather the storm and feel positive about the year ahead. What advice would you give other retailers? I think the retail market is generally struggling and suffering due to the above and increasing living costs together with the constant competition from online shopping but I think and hope that there will be gradual return to ‘shopping local’ and supporting the high street. Retailers need to talk to their customers and find out what they want and give the personal service that they can’t get online. What are your plans for the future? I will continue the search for new products to keep my customers interest and possibly expand into footwear, which there is a definite need for in Hertford, together with my other business idea which I don’t want to go in to at the moment! FRANKIE AND OLIVE +44 (0)1992 677 150