Retailer offers parking refunds
Sara Holt & Maria Howarth have only been in Knutsford since the 26th October 2007 but their Dollond and Aitchison franchise has been steadily growing its customer base. With regular offers and incentives they are keen to broadcast their message of quality and value with service to Knutsfordians.
Often frowned upon by residents, larger national brands can struggle to engage locals in Knutsford as a fear that some loss of heritage may be resultant in their arrival. However, it may surprise readers to learn that, unlike other optometic franchises, D&A are a standalone operation with free reign over marketing, localised offers and publicity.
Naturally the outlet takes advantage of national marketing campaigns and offers, however both Sara and Maria feel that restrictive covenants that often guide franchise operations are not enforced with a D&A arrangement. So when the two franchisees decided to offer refunds for their customers, the finaniclal impact does not reach a centralised office, but instead is taken directly from their own profits.
So far they have refunded more than £150 to customers over the past twenty days, however this decision is borne out of frustation more than just kindness. “People are always moaning about the parking fees and we wanted to do something about it” Sara (27) pointed the blame squarely at the authorities. “The Council does not seem to want to do anything about it so we have to move with the times. Parking is very difficult and costly for people coming into Knutsford”
Sara reported that customers have been very appreciative of the scheme and although a little costly it is helping with sales. The Regent Street store often holds events to attract customers and this pro-active approach combined with their refund campagin offers an alternative to the town’s retailing issues.