A Whitby shop that specialises in selling gifts with a Yorkshire theme has found an unexpected market in local gin. Moor and Tide on Church Street now makes most of its sales from customers looking for regional and special edition gins and is looking to rebrand as a bottle shop.
Owner Amanda Shaw says she has become known locally as the “Whitby gin shop” and dedicates much of her time to sourcing hard to find gin and alcohol products. “I’m guided by my customers and adapt my stock to what people are asking for in the shop and on Facebook,” she says.
“It means we have moved away from the traditional home and giftware we started out selling when we opened two years ago,” says Amanda. “I steer clear of anything people can find easily in the supermarket and look for unusual gins and things that people won’t have seen anywhere else,” she adds.
In her efforts to differentiate herself and attract more customers, Amanda has teamed up with sourcing specialists at fellow Yorkshire business The Great British Exchange. The GBE helps British producers find a route to market on the high street and support retailers to source new and innovative products for their stores.
Managing director of The GBE, Matt Hopkins, says Amanda is doing everything right when it comes to retail survival.
“Customers want newness and variety and Amanda has got things absolutely spot on when it comes to sourcing rare and unique products for her shop, Matt explains. “She’s also listening to her customers and taking on board their comments when they pop in or give feedback on social media,” he added.
“Our own research and experience of working with high street retailers shows that when high street shops embrace trends and listen to their customers they are resilient and well placed to thrive.”
Amanda’s little shop is a cornucopia of brightly coloured bottles in all shapes and sizes.
“If customers are buying for themselves they are keen to try something different which is why my latest violet gin is proving so popular,” she explains. “If they are buying for a gift they like unusual bottles, miniatures and gift sets, which is an area I’d like to expand next.”