‘Smelliest shop’ sniffs out award

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A SMALL independent retailer is in the finals of a major competition, after claiming to be the smelliest shop in town.

Buy the Light, in Bury St Edmunds, is the only independent trader in Suffolk to make the finals of the Greats Gift Retailer Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a ceremony in London next month.

The shop in the Cornhill Walk Shopping Centre is a finalist in the Best Retailers Initiative category.

Lesley Bancroft, who runs the shop specialising in candles and other gifts, said she launched the smelliest shop campaign after the shopping centre suffered a blow to its footfall following the opening of the arc.

“There is no other shop quite like this in Bury but because Cornhill Walk saw a number of shops move into the arc, I’ve had to do all I can to encourage footfall,” she said.

“I launched this marketing campaign just over a year ago and saw an increase in takings in 2010.

“With more shops having recently moved into Cornhill Walk, I am hoping 2011 will be even better.”

Now she is waiting to see whether the smelliest shop campaign will help her sniff out the award when the winners are announced on May 19.

The awards, now in their ninth year, are run by Progressive Gifts and Home Worldwide, and recognise not only the top independent and multiple gift retailers regionally and nationally, but also ‘nice’ retailers, garden centres, supermarkets and outstanding retail employees.

“To be short-listed for this award is fantastic but I’m not going to let this distract me from the high quality of service and products my customers expect,” said Lesley.

Buy the Light has now been running for 13 years.

The smelly campaign was devised by Lesley in conjunction with website and marketing firm Logic Design which is also based in Bury.

Visit the shop’s website at www.buythelight.co.uk