Lisa takes family’s corner shops into internet trading

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LISA Eastwood has been nominated for a national award for taking her family business onto the web.

Lisa is one of three finalist in the National Federation of Retail Newsagents’ awards, which will be presented in London on Tuesday.

Her parents, Lynda and Trevor Whitehouse, have owned Court News, in Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds, for seven years and Ridley Stores, in Ridley Road, for two years. Lisa’s brothers Carl and Danny also work in the business.

Lisa, 27, taught herself how to build a website and set up www.simplystores.co.uk though she took a Menta course on search engine optimisation to boost the site’s ratings in web searches.

Her site not only gives details of both businesses’ opening hours, locations, goods and services, but includes an online shop, selling everything from Airfix kits to jams and chutneys and giftwares.

Lisa said: “I just wanted to think outside the box of different ways of selling. Because of the recession we needed a bit of a boost and I thought we might as well try selling online.

“It gives us further income – we sell all around the world, even to America and Canada.”

She says local people tend to use the site to check opening times or find out where it is, though some still use the online shop.