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News - 25 November 2008
Naomi Nunan and Fiona Stewart

City College provides free retail training for local businesses

Local businesses have recently been benefiting from free retail training provided by City College Brighton and Hove through the SEEDA-funded ‘Tourism Futures’ project. Training has covered visual merchandising, window displays, space planning and PR/Marketing.

Retailers are asked to join the Tourism Forum by signing a charter which commits them to recruit locally and train their workforce. The Tourism Forum meets quarterly and is a networking opportunity for Retail and Tourism businesses as well as an opportunity to discuss recruitment and training issues and find ways of working together for the success of everyone in the city.

Naomi Nunan, City College’s Tourism Futures Coordinator, says “One of the key benefits of this project is that the College has been able to utilise the expertise of a Visual Retail Consultancy called Metamorphosis who’ve been running half-day workshops that enable retailers to understand the customer experience, focusing on shop lay-outs and displays. The training has also encouraged retailers to monitor their performance by counting their footfall and number of converted sales."

Fiona Stewart, who runs FSDS (Fiona Stewart Designer Silver) in Rottingdean, says: “The training and involvement I’ve received from City College has been fantastic, and has already increased the average spend in the shop. Being located in Rottingdean means I really need to focus on my local community, whilst slowly building up a wider reputation. Throughout the training I have received advice on how to do that. The training covered so many different aspects. The window dressing and space planning was very useful. For instance, just putting a backdrop to my window display has highlighted my display and caused a talking point in the village. It also made the inside of the shop more cosy which has increased the time customers spent in the shop. I was trained to see my shop from the customer perspective. When you work in the space every day, focusing on the business aspects, I think the display side can slip and you can't afford to do that.”

Fiona adds: “The networking on the courses has also proved extremely useful. You meet other people running their own businesses and people from the shop floor with vast experience. You can trade ideas and knowledge on innovative marketing ideas. It’s also great to be involved in the Tourism Futures Project where hoteliers and retailers have a forum to discuss training and employment challenges. I would absolutely recommend everyone in the retail sector to investigate what City College can offer their business.”

If you are interested in the training, charter or forum, please call Naomi Nunan on 01273 667756 or

For media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email


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