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News - 15 June 2009
Martin Lawrence with the City College Team

Hove business discovers art of visual merchandising

TN Lawrence & Son, a local family-run art supplies shop, has experienced a monthly sales increase of 35% after City College Brighton and Hove provided them with free training in Commercial Visual Merchandising.

The Tourism Futures project, run by City College, provides free training for the retail, hospitality, hotel and visitor attraction sectors within the city. Visual retail specialists Metamorphosis has been contracted by the College to deliver in-store Customer Experience Enhancement (CEE) training.

Martin Lawrence, Managing Director of TN Lawrence & Sons, says: “Following the training sessions, we started to implement changes to our shop. Our trainer inspired everyone from the shop floor upwards but we also noticed an almost immediate effect on sales. We attribute a large part of this increase to their work with us.” Ellie Kidson of Metamorphosis says “Working with City College has been fantastic. The Tourism Futures project is providing a learning platform for independent retailers, encouraging them to really recognise the benefits in learning new retail skills and giving them the opportunity to improve their businesses and up-skill their teams. The in-store Customer Experience Enhancement training is a great way of introducing retailers to the project while providing immediate skills and knowledge to enable them to maximises sales and improve service levels. It encourages creative thinking and leadership skills, highlighting problems and opportunities and motivating the owner/manager and team to take action to improve their in-store customer experience. We have seen great results, with retailers reporting increases in sales and feeling much more confident and motivated."

Naomi Nunan, City College’s Tourism Futures Project coordinator, says: “This case study shows that with the right training and the right attitude to training, it can make a real difference to the performance of a company. We are really lucky that the funding currently allows us to offer this training for free.”

Tourism Futures also runs the Tourism Forum which is a free forum for employers to network and find up-to-date information on employment and training within the sector. Over eighty businesses are signed up to the Tourism Futures Charter and the next Tourism Forum will be hosted by Orb360 in their marquee on Devil’s Dyke on the afternoon of Thursday 16 July. Tourism Futures also has retail courses and HR for small businesses running in July and August. For more information, contact the Tourism Futures Project team on 01273 667756.

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

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Lawrence, Martin

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