Narrabri Shire businesses have seized the opportunity to take part in a council initiated program to fine tune their products and services presentation.

Consultant Carol Bagaric, director of Retail Revamp, has been in the shire this week, meeting business operators on site to discuss and advise on ways local stores and service providers can continue to maximise their offer to customers.

Carol has found shire businesses are upbeat about the future.

“There is an optimism up the main street.”

The scope of businesses which have taken the opportunity to consult with Carol is wide, from main street retailers to agricultural machinery outlets to industrial equipment suppliers and service providers.

“We have engaged with about 15 businesses so far in Narrabri, Wee Waa and Boggabri,” said Carol.

“And all are welcome – more businesses which would like to talk about joining the program are invited to contact business liaison officer Gillian Goddard at Narrabri Shire Council.”

Carol Bagaric came to Narrabri Shire in October last year for initial workshops with businesses and has now embarked on a longer term program to run over the next three months.

“The program is about looking at a business shop front and interior, how it presents and what revamp may be required – is it a signage upgrade, store remerchandising, a new paint job, the presentation in any aspect down to the owners and staff members themselves?

“The aim is to revamp and refresh businesses to increase foot traffic into the store and offer a better instore customer experience.

“And the program helps provide motivation for the businesses themselves,” adds Carol.

“It is a great opportunity to take stock. There is no certainty in today’s environment, but businesses can use this time to be productive and get the things done that need to be done.”

Narrabri SprayerBarn is one of the many progressive shire businesses to seek consultant Carol Bagaric’s advice, in this case a revamp of the SprayerBarn store front. Pictured, SprayerBarn’s Mandy Chappell, left, with Carol Bagaric.

Business operators are enthusiastic about the free consultancy service.

“People have identified a particular thing they would like to rectify, perhaps window display, signage, ways to draw customers further into the store, too much sale stock and don’t know what to do with it, and they may feel time poor,” said Carol.

“We need to be realistic – we can do key zones, if not the entire store, and hit the ‘hot spots’ and let some parts of the store simply continue to do their thing.

“You pick and choose where you get the most bang for your buck.”

“The spectrum of businesses’ needs is wide.

“Some only need a shorter revamp, others more .

“They can be selling anything from a candle to a four-wheel drive part,” said Carol.

“But the same issues rear their head, retailers get challenged or stuck in their space, they might find a quarter of the store under performing, have too much stock, not enough room, not enough time, the job gets too big, where do you start?

“But a revamp needs to be done progressively, chip away a bit at a time.”

Carol will be a regular visitor and in regular contact.

“I come once a month, and have a week in town – Narrabri, Wee Waa and Boggabri – and spend time with the businesses, workshop and brainstorm challenges and issues, leave them some homework and come back to check up on them a month later.

“In between visits I talk to the businesses every week.”

Who can join the retail revamp initiative?

“We are still here and asking business to join in, whatever their product or service,” said Carol.

“Everyone is in the scope.”

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