Jarrold boss reveals secret behind Christmas success

Jarrold's Minnie Moll believes the shopping experience her store offers is why it continues to be su

Jarrold's Minnie Moll believes the shopping experience her store offers is why it continues to be successful even amid crisis on the high street Picture: Keiron Tovell. - Credit: Archant

Norwich department store Jarrold is bucking the high street downturn this Christmas and the chief executive believes it is down to 'experiential shopping'.

As many retailers face up to gloomy festive sales figures Jarrold is so far performing well. And chief executive Minnie Moll puts the success down to the experience.

'Jarrold is bucking the trend,' she said. 'I think we do experiential shopping really well and that is playing out at Christmas.

'People are coming not just for the fabulous range but for the atmosphere – we have musicians, there is the restaurants, the champagne bar. It is not just shopping but eating and drinking and being merry.

'It is an awful shame that so many of us find Christmas stressful and exhausting. The shopping part becomes a kind of dreadful mission as opposed to it being a joyful thing.

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'I think trying to slow down and going about shopping in a different way is important. I say to people 'come and do your Christmas shopping in one day' and have a coffee and lunch.

'You can make something that was a burden become very pleasurable. We try to make it fun rather than an ordeal.'

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Through December sales figures have been up. Last week Jarrold was up 2.2pc year-on-year whereas national high street figures were as low as -2.6.

The migration to internet shopping has undoubtedly hit some retailers and Ms Moll is clear that for Jarrold to continue to be successful it has to offer more than its competitors across the board.

'Online is a very important part of our business going forward,' she said. 'We are seeing really good growth. Some people are using click and collect but lots of people are not even local, they are just finding things they like online.

'But, because a lot of what we sell is beautifully curated and inspiring, coming into the store is great if you are not sure what to buy someone.'

But although Christmas trading has been positive Ms Moll warned of another tough year ahead on the high street. She said: 'Retail is going to continue to be really tough – those difficult trading conditions are going to continue.

'All this uncertainty is impacting people and just the mood of the nation – it is challenging.'

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