Honiton: Beauchamp Place marks 20 years on High Street

PUBLISHED: 12:45 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:32 16 June 2010

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WHEN Mandy Newman, 54, started her fashion business, Beauchamp Place, in Honiton, Britain was in the grip of a recession. As she marks 20 years of being in business on High Street, Britain is again suffering an economic downturn.

WHEN Mandy Newman, 54, started her fashion business, Beauchamp Place, in Honiton, Britain was in the grip of a recession. As she marks 20 years of being in business on High Street, Britain is again suffering an economic downturn. Mandy reflects on her 20 years in business and shares her thoughts on Beauchamp Place's journey from 1989 to 2009...

WHEN I spotted a gap in the market in Honiton, I wasn't looking for a shop at the time.

But I opened during a recession, in premises next to Best of Honiton. I took on an empty shop and found myself going to London to buy stock in November!

But, it was wonderful; the business just grew and grew. Every year was better than the year before

Then, my present shop, at 72 High Street, became available and I decided to move.

My solicitor told me I was mad. We were just coming out of a recession.

We spent three months doing it up.

I think the business has prospered and survived because it has got a loyal client base and customers from further afield, who always come and see us when they are passing through.

Some even come on day trips from London once or twice a year.

I will always post things to people, and I find having a website (www.beauchamp-place.co.uk) useful.

My staff are wonderful. Ann Hibbert has been with me for 19 years! I think the secret of the shop's success is that we try to work very hard for our customers. If we haven't got the size they want, we will always try to order it for them or carry out alterations. We will bend over backwards to help.

You have to know in a shop like this when to back off - some people don't want any help and some want lots of help.

Trading conditions are difficult for everybody at the moment, without exception. The High Street is holding its own, but I think it sometimes looks a bit sad.

One of the things that irritates me is the parking situation.

Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry has fought very hard for barrier car parking, so shoppers can pay when they leave.

A pay-as-you-go system would mean an end to wardens checking, because people would have to pay to get out of the car park.

At the moment, people run out of parking time and the town is losing money; it's not good for business. People are watching the time.

I have no plans to retire. I enjoy what I do. The shop is doing as well as you would expect in the middle of a recession.

n Take advantage of a 10 per cent off offer, to mark Beauchamp Place's 20th anniversary, by mentioning the advert on this page.


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