Dorset c-store owners Chris and Juliet Porter are thanking their lucky stars after featuring on the BBC's Mary Queen of Shops programme this week.
The couple, who run the Clealls of Corfe c-store in Corfe Castle, Dorset, called on the help of retail guru Mary Portas last year in an effort to turn around the fortunes of the store. They had been running the store for a year but were losing £6,000 a month because they were stocking too many products and failing to attract local custom.
Portas, who visited the store in September and October, advised the Porters to stock fewer products and focus on selling local produce, a concept that Chris Porter said had proved "phenomenal".
"We are now sourcing as much local produce as we can," he said. "We are working with about 25 local producers and visited a lot more. We are selling everything from local salad through to fresh fish. I was worried before that people wouldn't pay a premium because my background is in market trading where everyone wants a bargain, but people are prepared to pay that little bit more."
Its local products include Purbeck Ice Creams, Dorset Piddle Co beer and Windswept Cow cheese and the number of lines has been reduced from about 4,000 to 2,000, which Porter said made his visits to Booker "a hell of a lot easier".
However, not all of the changes suggested by Portas have stuck. Porter said he delisted but reintroduced tinned veg because the products were popular with campers and the elderly. "Four other retailers are planning to visit us to see the changes we have made first-hand," he added.
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