Trade Paints Rye (trading as Rye DIY) took over the shop last yearand Rye News went to see how they are getting on. Rye is the sixth branch of Trade Paints Ltd, the others being at Hailsham, Hove, Bexhill, St Leonards and Hastings, where the first shop was opened.
I talked to Joel Pepper who, in his early 20s, is the Rye branch manager. The other member of full-time staff is Rick Nash who has worked at the shop in Cinque Ports St for about 17 years. Joel is also a local lad. He went to Rye College, then went on to Bexhill College to read business studies and accountancy.
Joel explained that while they try to cover a lot of DIY needs (gardening, ironmongery, wallpaper, tiles, to name a few) paint is the Rye branch’s main source of revenue, stocking all the main brands including Dulux Trade, Mylands & Leyland (which can be mixed to Farrow & Ball equivalents). Two mixing machines are available. He said that the firm was happy to deliver at no cost to the customer, even if it was just one paint brush.
We talked about the competition from online suppliers although paint is not so easy to manage online, particularly if you need to return it. But Joel recognises the need to provide a personalised service. “It is very important to get to know customers, advising them, when appropriate, what products should be used for the job in hand. Also that the visit to the shop is an experience to be enjoyed.”
Joel said that turnover had increased over the past few months, which is relief given the rent and rates! The hope is that by offering the personalised service, footfall will rise and the margin between sales and overheads will increase.
Do we expect that in the future deliveries will be made to us by a robot that arrives in an autonomous vehicle? Or would we prefer to make a short trip to Cinque Ports St and be welcomed by two human beings who give us a warm welcome including a free cup of tea or coffee? We look forward to seeing Joel and Rick again.
Image Credits: Rye News library .