Gloucester duo scoop top retail prize

Make Your Mark in Retail awards pair for exceptional service

Two Gloucester women are celebrating after being crowned Make Your Mark in Retail winners with their accessories venture.

Dolores Bowskill and Elaine Bramwell, who have been neighbours for 20 years, launched Delainey Fashion Accessories after ill heath forced Bramwell to give up her job.

The business, which sells handbags, jewellery and scarves, took a year to plan and already had two years of successful trading at fetes and country fayres before entering the Make Your Mark competition, run by The Mall in partnership with Enterprise UK.

The competition offers entrants the opportunity to test their retail skills on a Retail Merchandising Unit (RMU). Some 55 businesses were trialled on RMUs in town centre shopping malls across the UK.

As overall winners of the competition, Bowskill and Bramwell received a start-up package worth £15,000 including six months free rent on an RMU as well as mentoring and business support.

Tim Campbell, founder of the Bright Ideas Trust and the first winner of The Apprentice, was one of the competition judges. He said:

“The quality of entries was fantastic, but Dolores and Elaine’s business was exceptional. They spent time one-on-one with each customer, helping them match items and try new combinations that suited their personality and confidence level, as well as their appearance.

“This style of customer service, that we were more accustomed to decades ago, resonates with consumers now. Perhaps we should all take note and consider looking for the future of retailing in the past, as the brightest business ideas are not always brand new.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010

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