the forum

14 November, 2008

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e mail:


Q I've discovered that one of my team knowingly allowed an old lady to use a £5 note instead of a £10 because he felt sorry for her. Do I discipline him and, if so, how? And do I ask the customer to cough up the rest of the money?

A I once caught one of my team giving cheap deals to a friend. I explained to him that what he was doing was essentially an act of theft and said I expected the difference to be made up when he cashed up. You can't blame the customer.

Derek, Haslemere

A I authorise my staff to give discounts of 5 % to customers we value and who regularly spend their money with us, and I have occasionally taken pity on an elderly customer who I think might be in dire straits. But that's my decision to make, as the store owner, not a member of staff.

CH, Staffs

Q Can anyone recommend a way of relieving in-store stress without resorting to drink, locking the door, or punching someone?

A You seem to have ruled out all the good ones. What about slinging the till at the wall? I've seen it done and let me tell you - it's spectacular. But very stressful while you're waiting for a new one.

Mark, Cheshire

A Gentle classical music, a comfortable chair, the Times crossword and a good stock of Earl Grey tea keep

me on the straight and narrow.

Pauline, Cornwall

A Leave the door open for a while, even in cold weather. Some brisk, cool, fresh air can really make all the difference.

Janet, Derby

Q Are there any biodynamic principles that could assist me in the running of my shop?

Charles, East Sussex

Q Is it unprofessional for someone who works in a wine shop to wear perfume?

Grace, London

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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