Kirkby Lonsdale store named in Drapers’ list of 100 Inspiring Independents
Drapers, ‘the bible of the fashion industry’ for more than 130 years, and proud supporter of UK and Irish retail, has announced that Abrahams Store of Kirkby Lonsdale has been chosen as one of this year’s Inspiring Independents. For more than 30 years, Drapers has been celebrating the brilliance and resilience of independent fashion and footwear retailers with the ‘Drapers Independent Awards’. However due to the coronavirus pandemic and the unforeseen challenges that have hit the industry hard, this year’s Awards support independents by celebrating their survival and success stories.
One of those success stories is fashion & lifestyle retailer Abrahams Store, based in Market Square, Kirby Lonsdale and owned by Josie & JAC Beeson. Josie said:
“We are thrilled to discover that we have been included in the Drapers list of ‘Inspiring Independents for 2020’. This recognition is especially significant for us as we celebrate our 5th anniversary of owning Abrahams. 2020 has been and continues to be a particularly difficult time for small independent businesses everywhere. At the start, we didn’t have an online shop, however with the onset of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown for three months, we realised that we would have to adapt quickly to survive.
We decided to take a creative approach and during lockdown social media and newsletters allowed us to stay connected with our customers. So even though the store was closed, we were able to take orders for locals (hand-delivered) and for customers further afield. In the meantime my husband JAC developed an Abrahams ecommerce shop focussing on essential products like skin care and gift items to begin with. This vital channel has allowed us to connect with and sell to, our existing and growing list of new customers.
Since reopening from lockdown, footfall in the store has been pleasingly high. Kirkby Lonsdale is right in between the Lake District, the Forest of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales so we’ve benefited from more visitors holidaying within the UK. Importantly, more customers have been shopping locally rather than visiting larger towns.
We are lucky to employ a wonderful team of staff who continue to work hard and efficiently to ensure that all shop safety precautions are adhered to – our customers’ wellbeing is paramount at all times. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them and all our customers for their unswerving loyalty as we continue through these extremely challenging times. We do not know what the next 5 years will hold but we are quietly optimistic that Abrahams will continue to successfully adapt and offer a unique shopping experience to all”.