Traders with the personal touch
Troon’s independent shops offer more than just good service – they go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction
The quality and variety of independent shops has much to do with Troon’s appeal as a shopping destination full of character and personality, which is what Elaine Ferrie and her business partner Jean McLeish had in mind when they opened their off-licence, Thelma and Louise, four years ago.
“We were looking for something a bit different” explains Elaine. “We offer premium brands you won’t get in the big supermarkets and have an excellent range of ale, beer, lager, champagne, Prosecco and red and white wine. Malt is also big and our sale-and-return offer includes free glass hire and anything unopened can be returned for a refund. This is the sort of service which keeps customers coming back.”
Lain Dalgleish of Cowans Baby Centre has clients from across central Scotland coming to his store for all their nursery equipment.
“We display what we like and have confidence in,” he explains. “We’re always happy to advise but we want customers to look around and see what they like without any pressure from us and then we’ll show them how something works. We’ll check to see that a pram can go in the car boot, for example, or come up with something equivalent if it doesn’t. Or we’ll show them how to fit a car seat and make sure they have the right size. These are really important purchases so great value and good service is vital.”
Lomond Jewellery also sees families making very important purchases, although when Eleanor Whyte opened the business in 2007 the speed with which it took off surprised her.
Her husband Norman says: “I said 1 would help out for the first three weeks as my background is jewellery, but we soon realised that wasn’t going to be enough so I joined her in the business.
“A really good quality service is vital to us, as jewellery is such a personal purchase. Beautiful presentation is also important so we are happy to gift-wrap and we also offer services such as battery replacement for a wide range of quality watches.”
Scentsations specialises in exclusive fragrances such as Chanel, Aqua di Parma, Cartier, Guerlain and most recently Etro which is also an exclusive textile fashion brand. Stocking lines that are not readily available elsewhere means it can offer Lalique, Rance, Escentric Molecules and Creed perfumes as well as a fabulous collection of handbags, jewellery, skincare, make-up and home fragrances from Neom Organics. Knowledgable staff with a wealth of experience and a friendly, helpful, personal approach have resulted in a very loyal and satisfied clientele.
Encanto has a similar reputation for beautiful bridal lingerie and also stocks skin jewellery, which is very popular for special occasions. It lies softly on the skin, creating a soft illusion of silver, butterflies or lace. The store offers a range of swimwear as well as mastectomy and post-surgery fittings and always aims to make women feel their best. Recently revamped, the shop has a lovely new look and the same excellent service.
Kidz Corner promises the opportunity to buy products you cannot find elsewhere and this is very clear with the response to it stocking the Sophie le Giraffe teething range, which has been a big hit in France since the 1960s. Kidz Corner also has many customers looking for something different for baby showers, such as the bandana-style bibs, while traditional toys such as rocking horses and classic prams remain as popular as ever, and the premature baby range of clothes is beautiful in its simplicity.