A PRODUCTIVE meeting went ahead to discuss the future of a community enterprise in Marchington.
Stakeholders and members of the public met to discuss Marchington Village Shop and how best to promote the service in the local area.
The meeting was held to drum up support from villagers and brainstorm ideas for the future direction of the shop.
Advertising was one of the main topics which came up during the meeting.
Villagers are hoping to raise awareness of the unique services offered by the shop and ways to order products.
Liz Morgan, volunteer for the project, said: “We had 60 people attend who were very interested and passionate about keeping the shop open and help it grow.
“A very telling figure is that house prices are on average seven per cent higher in villages which have a village shop facility.
“I think that fact really hit home for many people to highlight how important it is to support it.
“At the meeting we had a lot of feedback and ideas on how to boost sales
“One thing we are really going to be focussing on is raising the profile of the facilities we currently have to tell more people about the shop and the products and services on offer.
“We’re open round the clock - fifty hours a week and are looking to make this more visible locally to boost trade.
“We are going to deliver flyers and newsletters to local people around the village.
“We’re also going to hand out questionnaires to find out what people want to see more of in the shop.
“We’ll be heavily promoting the fact that customers can order meat and bread, something which I don’t think everyone was aware of.
“We’ll also be looking to get more shareholders.
“People can become shareholders by paying £20 to invest and they can do so by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
“We are now over halfway to paying off the loans we took out to re-open the shop in November 2010 and we are facing some important decisions for the shop’s future.
“We now need to generate more business or we need to cut our costs in some way.
“The shop has been very successful and it’s a very valuable asset for a village to have.
“It’s completely run by volunteers and is open all week.”
More information about the shop is available to view online at www.marchingtonshop.co.uk
The shop is always looking for new volunteers and those wishing to volunteer should head to the website and pick up a form or alternatively get one from Reg on 820270 or Liz on 820528.
Shop volunteers are keen to emphasise that purchasing just a few goods every week will help the shop survive.
Opening hours are from 8.30am until 6pm Monday to Friday, from 9am until 12 noon on Saturday and from 9.15am until 11.15am on Sunday.