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Business consultant Samantha Annison wants to revitalise cafés and shops in Norfolk and Suffolk




Business consultant Samantha Annison has helped revitalise Peasenhall General Store. Pictures by Mark Bullimore.
Business consultant Samantha Annison has helped revitalise Peasenhall General Store. Pictures by Mark Bullimore.

A Metfield woman has made it her job to revitalise cafés and shops in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Samantha Annison, 52, used to run Fressingfield Stores for 20 years until its sale in September, 2017.

During her time at the helm, she managed to turn it into a successful business, despite competing with two other stores in the village.

Now a business consultant, Mrs Annison wants to help others who might be struggling.

She said: “I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to provide a service for local businesses to take a closer look at their offering and help them realise that small stores are not competing directly with the supermarkets and the bigger organisations, but that you need to continually evaluate and improve your offering to customers.”

Her business, Eclipse Retail Services, offers assistance which she would have valued herself while working long hours and in need of help.

Mrs Annison’s initial assessment includes the outside appeal, tidiness, product range and staff productivity. Once she gives her full report, she then discusses options with the owners on how to improve.

Samantha Annison has launched a new consultancy business aimed at helping small firms grow.
Samantha Annison has launched a new consultancy business aimed at helping small firms grow.

“My aim is to look at all aspects of their offering and work with them to introduce change where needed to encourage ongoing success and growth,” said Mrs Annison.

“It is so important that you look at every aspect and every type of customer and see how you can best cater to all needs and, importantly, not become complacent and to move with the times.”

Her latest clients were the owners of Peasenhall General Store.

They have been working together for the past three months and relaunched the business last week, which includes new local produce and a new layout.

“I have tried to help them as much as possible using my retail knowledge and to offer new ideas with the aim of increasing the stores appeal to customers,” said Mrs Annison.

“So many stores are closing. I want to show that it can be done and to encourage business owners to inject enthusiasm into their business.”

She plans to revisit the store in a couple of months to see how her changes have helped.

To contact Eclipse Retail Services, email sam@eclipseretail.co.uk or call Samantha Annison on 07887 976305.



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