Magical support has seen a Brighton wizarding shop selected by the public to compete for the title of Britain’s Best Small Shop 2019.
Oliver Dall, 28, owner of Oliver’s, Trafalgar Street- which sells Harry Potter collectibles and merchandise- has said he had ‘no idea’ that the awards existed until a fellow shop owner mentioned them to him.
Despite a late entry into IndieRetail’s Best Small Shop Awards 2019, Oliver’s won a public vote to be among the 25 shortlisted for the title.
Having opened in 2017, Oliver said that winning the award would be an ‘ideal birthday present’; winners are selected on November 5, six days before the shop’s second anniversary.
It is clear that Oliver values his customers and wants to provide them with an unforgettable retail experience.
He recently changed the layout of his shop to prevent a feeling of overcrowding and commissioned a bespoke aroma for the shop that Harry Potter fans will know and love.
“Last week a mum came in with her autistic son from London,” Oliver said. “She sent me a message in advance to say that he sometimes finds shopping environments challenging. The next day they left a really lovely review to say it was one of his most comfortable shopping experiences.” Oliver said.
The shop’s loyalty programme has just reached 200 members, much to Oliver’s delight.
He said: “Retail is struggling- without the regulars, we wouldn’t have a business.
“Rather than giving just a little bit back, like some larger companies, members pay £10 for the loyalty card but get ten per cent credit back on absolutely everything.”
The magical shop now boasts over 500 different items of stock, which Oliver says is the result of loyal customers who ‘spur him on’ to find new and interesting items.
His efforts have been widely recognised and Oliver’s has been awarded several Brighton and Hove Business Awards and runners up prizes.
Oliver proudly displays his TripAdvisor plaque of recognition behind the counter and is currently listed on the site as the second best place to shop in Brighton. “People have sometimes attached pictures and whole paragraphs to their reviews. It means a lot to me.” he said.
Customers from as far as Japan, South America, and Australia have visited the shop during their time in the UK.
To celebrate being shortlisted for the Best Small Shop Awards, Oliver’s is running a charity raffle until October 31.
Harry Potter fans can win a whole selection of merchandise from the shop. To enter visit Oliver’s website here
All proceeds will go to Sussex Homeless Support, a Brighton charity providing advice and support for homeless people in the city.
Oliver is happy to support the charity because it is “always there” for the homeless.
To date, the raffle has raised £610 and Oliver hopes to raise £1,000 for the charity.
IndieRetail’s Best Small Business 2019 will be announced at The House of Commons on November 5. Find out more about the awards at its website here.