Bury St Edmunds: Retailers offered tips from Mary Portas

SHOPKEEPERS in Bury St Edmunds have a chance to pick up some top tips at a skills event supported by retail guru Mary Portas.

The evening, entitled “The Mary Portas Guide to Successful Retailing”, is a 90-minute taster for courses provided by the National Skills Academy for Retail.

It has been organised by the town’s Business Improvement District organisation Bid4Bury, and is free to its member traders.

Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell said: “There are seven different ‘Mary Portas Masterclasses’ offered by the National Skills Academy for Retail usually costing �200 each, but the closest centre to Bury that offers them is Norwich.

“I’ve arranged for this presentation by those that deliver the courses so that Bid4Bury members will hopefully pick up some useful retail tips but also find out a bit more about what’s on offer and perhaps decide that one of the courses is worth following up.”

Mary Portas made her name with the BBC2 programme Mary Queen of Shops and her latest series, Mary Queen of Frocks, is currently running on Channel 4.

The masterclasses offer help on all aspects of running a shop, from marketing and business planning to selling and service skills, with each featuring contributions from Mary Portas on video.

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Mr Cordell added: “The experts who run these courses focus particularly on independent retailers, something that Bury St Edmunds is famous for.

“Although I’m not aware of any plans Mary herself may have to visit the town I’d be delighted to show her around if she did – and perhaps she’d see some of her own retail tips being put into practice by our enterprising members.”

The workshop event takes place at the LP Bar in Woolhall Street, Bury, on Wednesday, October 19. Retailers interested in attending should contact the Bid4Bury office on 01284 766258.