the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 15 January 2006
Clever or silly?

Clever or silly?

A sign in a newsagent’s window that says they won’t accept a bank note for payment unless your purchase is over a pound could be viewed as either very clever or very silly. It is certainly a reflection of much that’s wrong with retail service in the city.

When an employee of the Brighton & Hove Business Forum popped into a newsagent to get a chocolate bar he didn’t have anything smaller than a £10 note. The chocolate bar cost 65p and the shop-keeper refused to take the note pointing out the sign displayed in the window.

As the disgruntled customer replaced the chocolate bar and left the newsagent helpfully pointed out that there was a bank a few doors along where the note could be changed.

There are a number of ways to view this incident which may seem small but actually highlights a lack of service that pervades too much of retail in the city. The newsagent is close to the Hove Town Hall bus interchange and may get people coming in to purchase something small in order to change a bank note and get coins to pay their bus fare.

Some retailers would not view the prospect of people spending money in their premises on things they don’t really want as being a bad thing. A purchase is a purchase regardless of the motive and if the newsagent made 100 such sales a week at 65p they would have an additional £3,380 in the till at the end of the year.

Perhaps the shopkeeper was very canny and realising this potential of this source of additional revenue he decided to maximise it by making people pay a minimum of £1 which, applying the same formula, would result in an extra £5,200 over the course of a full year.

Of course you would have to deduct from those figures all the people that decided that customer service was not foremost in the shopkeepers mind and never came back. The loss of their custom would be measured over a lifetime, not just a year and could ultimately cost far more than either of the sums above.

Sometimes retailers lose sight of exactly whose benefit they are running their business for. The city is full of shops that give excellent service with owners, managers and assistants that will make just that little bit more effort to make a customer feel valued but they are by no means universal across the city.

At a time when Bighton & Hove faces increasing comeptition from other towns and the internet and increasing problems of access, customer service is the key factor likely to save the day.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs