Retail Support Scheme Launch Meeting

Christmas Gifts at Milton Art Gallery on Leys Estate

Retail Support Scheme Launch Meeting

Wednesday, 22nd January at 5.30pm at

The Hub, Banchory West Parish Church, High Street, Banchory



Aberdeenshire Council recognises the importance of independent shops as an integral part of Town Centres and understands the importance of engaging with local businesses to help generate sales and provide support to strengthen this critical component of the town centre economy.  A successful LEADER application is providing funding to deliver a retail support scheme to the towns of Stonehaven, Banchory and Huntly in 2020.

The Project Aim

The Retail Support Scheme aims to strengthen retail businesses through a combination of one to one consultancy and group workshops to make small improvements, whether physical (display & merchandising), virtual (web presence) or skills development. To complement this scheme, services can also be secured from Business Gateway to offer free, detailed e-commerce advice. This will benefit those businesses that are advised to improve their online presence, following the one-to-one sessions.

The aim of the project is for the consultants to help the participating businesses by providing tools to achieve progress and profit, and to encourage a collaborative approach to pull retailers together to create an improved town offering and a strong retail forum.

The Consultants

The Retailer group were established in 1999 and work throughout Scotland, the UK and overseas. They are made up of a team of 14 experienced consultants lead by Gordon Bell, who specialise in developing retail business structures for new on-line and retail businesses, supporting also the development of established businesses.  Their expertise lies in operational processes, business structures and people management. To find out more information on The Retailer you can visit:

The process

An initial meeting will take place on Wednesday 22nd January at 5.30pm at The Hub, Banchory West parish Church, High Street, Banchory(Mount Street enterance).   This will inform retailers on the program. The deadline for signing up for the project will be 29th January.  Anyone unable to attend the meeting should contact Heather Macrae by email: [email protected] or call 01467533297 or [email protected] or call  01467537477.  Gordon Bell who will be leading the project for Banchory will then schedule in a one to one meeting for each participating business. The consultant services will be broken into manageable chunks and their support will come in a mix of retail reviews/assessments, personal one to one visits, individual mentoring and a visual merchandise workshop.

The following areas are topics The Retailer would cover with each business. The most important part of the exercise is that they will listen to the specific needs of each retailer and will identify their existing strengths and abilities. It is essential that they highlight skills in individual retailers that can be shared with others, so that when the project is finished there is a strong retail business team with a depth of knowledge and expertise within Banchory.

Retail Operations

  • General Housekeeping standards in the shop and stockrooms
  • Purchasing of products
  • Caliber and knowledge of the business owner
  • General layout
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the business
  • Supplier base, payment terms, mark up, accounting practices
  • Marketing and promotional stance
  • Points of difference, local competition
  • Identify self-help low cost solutions that will help them to improve their business
  • Working practices and cycles of work.
  • Caliber, knowledge and appearance of the staff
  • Collaboration with business neighbours
  • Sales efficiency
  • Key Performance Indicators



  • Mannequins, visual props available and general condition
  • Visual presentation and standards
  • Product merchandising
  • Standard of graphics and ticketing
  • Shop environment and shop fronts


The Retailer will also run three workshops over the course of the project (dependent on demand) for certain topics. In addition, they will assist in strengthening the town’s retail forum bringing in new ideas to increase footfall and vitality to the area.

Spaces are limited.  If demand is high, the scheme will prioritise town centre retail businesses.


Contact Details

Details of the scheme and registration of interest can be made no later than 29th January to:

Heather Macrae



[email protected]