Let's not beat around the bush, June 2018 was a s@@t month in the gallery in respect of turnover. We were down 32% on last year and 22% down on the 11 year average. So as an independent retailer what do you do when faced with figures like that? Panic, run and hide, think what's the point and generally have a little sob fest. All very valid emotions but not a great place to park yourself long-term!
Interestingly enough, we've had a number of conversations with fellow retailers and gallery owners not only in Swanage, Dorset but also across the south west and the UK and it's seems that a lot of us have had similar experiences in June. To be honest the prolonged hot sunny weather in a seaside resort really doesn't help - why would you want to go shopping when you can go to the beach, sit in a pub garden, BBQ with friends and generally make the most of the fab sunshine!
When times like this happen your inclination is to retreat and contract, not buy any new stock, think about reviewing your outgoings, see where you can cut back, worry if it's going to be a long term trend etc etc. However, what we have learnt in the 12 years we've been in business is that although this might be your natural response what you actually need to do is the opposite - if you can afford it buy some new stock, move everything around, have a bit of a sale on slow selling items to get the cash flow going, keep an upbeat attitude, maintain a sunny disposition and think moving forward and expansion and we guarantee you'll feel better!
So here at the gallery the main window will be changing on Monday 16th July and the gorgeous work of Oliver Pyle will be going in (originals and prints). There will be new work from Mani Parkes, a delivery from Shirley Vauvelle, new ceramics from Julie Barham and Neil Tregear, an expansion of our card ranges including some bespoke ones from Holy Mackerel, new stationery from Emma Ball, those fabulous baskets, limited edition prints from Sasha Harding, limited edition box canvases from Rebecca Lardner and in August 5 fabulous new originals from Sasha and we've discounted a few items if you fancy a bargain!
A BIG thank you to everyone that has been to the gallery both on-line and in person in June we are truly grateful for each and every one of your purchases - you keep this place going!
And as a last thought...we're praying for a change in the weather - slightly overcast with the threat of drizzle will suit us fine! And let's face it with the school summer holidays on their way we've got a good chance of that happening!