Last week was a busy week for us; not only were we re-opening our stores and presenting our new season collection with our worldwide sales teams, but on top of that, the guys at AMEX paid us a visit at our SOHO store. They filmed and interviewed David about how we have coped with the pandemic and how the last few months has affected the business.
The film was part of their #ShopSmallUK campaign.
Shot by @lewis.khan and soundtracked by @kyanmusic.
How are you feeling about reopening following lockdown? Have you found it hard to prepare for reopening?
I'm very excited to be open again, it’s been an interesting time which none of us expected but all of us have been in the same situation, everyone has been through this experience that has helped us all feel part of the same community. The effect of many people for health reasons has been quite profound for which I am deeply sad about and we need to respect that and be mindful of it too, but also now I am excited and optimistic to be back trading and really looking forward to seeing customers again, welcoming back old friends whilst also making new ones too.
Why is it important that you get support from your local community as the high street reopens?
Community is really important to us, our own base of customers/suppliers and makers have become our community as well as the physical locations we have stores in London and in Nottingham. For us, the interaction of the local community is super important and we hope to play our part in re-establishing the local high street back after the lockdown and seeing people return safely and comfortably in shops, restaurants, and services. Of course, it’s easy to say but it’s true, we only exist for our customers and they drive us forward all the time, we want to be here for them when they want us back and for us, the time is right to reopen now.
How has lockdown affected you as a business?
The impact is massive of course the loss of turnover and income, the staff away from the business, the loss of contact and visits with our suppliers and from our customers have all had a huge effect on us. It’s been a hugely difficult time for us to navigate through, but thankfully we still have all our stores and all our staff on board and we hope to bring back some normality to the staff and the customers in the coming weeks. We have continued to trade online and worked hard, giving as close to our physical levels of service as we can, but we love meeting our customers and as a small business we feel very close and personal to them.
Why are you involved in the American Express Shop Small Campaign?
Honestly, I think small shops and small businesses are the lifeblood of the country and the economy- we are the glue holding so much of the high street and the local communities together. We are more than just shops and products, we are truly part of a local community and as small independents, we can provide a fantastic safe environment that means something.
These are trying times. How have you adapted as a business whilst you’ve been temporarily closed?
We have learned some great digital platform skills, we’ve learned to keep in touch with as many clients, suppliers and staff through social media platforms and also to remember daily people are important, things less so. If you’re going to spend money on things, make them good things, well-made things, long-lasting things, and if you can buy them from the cool little guys, you’ll find it rewarding.
How do you think the world of men’s fashion, particularly with independent retailers, could change in the next three years?
I think it will bring new opportunities, adverse conditions like we are experiencing will always throw up new opportunities. I hope it reminds us all to be more respectful to raw materials, as an industry use more recycled materials, fabrics, and yarns, maybe just be more resourceful and less greedy and more community-minded.
The last few months have been difficult for small businesses and to show their support American Express has powered up "Shop Small" to give CardMembers £5 back when they spend £10 or more in a single in-store transaction at up to 10 different participating small businesses.
Find out how you can get involved visit: americanexpress.co.uk/shopsmal