What’s New?

Resignation of Chairman

At the HRCS Committee Meeting today, 28th. October David Clements resigned as Chairman after 8 years master minding the success of Our Shop.
His dedication to drive forward this vital Village enterprise and Hub cannot be over emphasised.
Andrew Norton will be acting as Chairman until a new permanent Chairman can be found.

Changing the Guard at Our Shop

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On Saturday 13th June, our much-loved Manager Jillian Fawcett will retire, having run the shop for 6½ years. During her time at the helm, she has turned it into a destination for food-lovers as well as providing a wonderful service to the village and increasing the shop sales from around £170,000 a year when she took over to its current level of approaching £250,000. During the current coronavirus crisis, she has worked extraordinarily long hours and managed to source supplies that were unavailable in supermarkets and we have wanted for little over the last three months. Well done Jillian and a big thank-you from the whole village.

On Monday 15th June, Mary Brown will become our new Manager. Mary lives in Merriott with husband Martin and her beloved border terrier Moss – she should fit in well here with all the border terriers and other small dogs in the village! Mary comes to us with a wealth of experience in retail, having work for the last 21 years for Beales until their collapse into administration and before that for 7 years in a cash and carry. Says Mary: ” Following Jillian is going to be a great challenge but I’m already loving the job and getting to know all the customers”.

BANNER ERECTORS AT IT AGAIN

“The Phantom Banner-Erectors strike again!
We woke up the other morning to find that the phantom banner phantom banner-erectors had struck again, with a lovely star-spangled banner! It’s such a lovely idea and we can’t wait for the next one.
A big thank-you again to our team of super-stars who are keeping the village well-supplied through Our SHOP.”




But Who Did It?

When we all woke up this morning, there was a lovely big banner across the front of the shop – see the attached picture!

All of us working to keep the shop running would like to say our big “thank-you” to those people who took the trouble to make and erect the  banner – it was much appreciated..

New blood for the Management Committee

The last Annual Members’ Meeting saw the departure from the Committee of Salle Wroblewski, Mike Shaw, Judy Craig and Les Farris and we are very grateful to all of them for their varied contributions to the work of the Committee. We were delighted to see Pippa Reynolds elected to the Committee at the AMM but this still left us with rather depleted numbers. However, we are delighted to report that at our last meeting, we co-opted Sheila Hayler, who has offered to alternate with Jean Roberts as Minutes Secretary and also Poppy Kennedy, whose appointment at a stroke reduced the average age of the Committee by several years…. We are delighted to have someone on the Committee to represent the particular interests of younger families.

Thank you Sheila and Poppy and we look forward to working with you!

Annual Members’ Meeting for year ending 30th September 2019

56 members of the HRCS Ltd attended the 8th Annual Members Meeting in St. George’s Hall on 14th February 2020. The Chairman of the Management Committee, David Clements, was able to report another satisfactory year, with profit before tax of £7,189 well ahead of the budget figure of £5,307, although slightly down from last year’s figure of £8,027. Shareholders’ funds increased from £254,836 to £260,574. Shop sales rose significantly from £220,417 to £233,671 but  the operating profit was eroded by lower gross margin and also higher salary costs which reflect the increase in the National Living Wage. Total turnover of the business exceeded a quarter of a million pounds for the first time.

Looking to the year ahead, it has started well with sales and gross margin significantly up on last year but the main challenge we face is to find a replacement for our much-loved Jillian, who will start a well-earned retirement later this year. Nonetheless, we face the future with confidence.

Our SHOP Runner-up in 2019 Plunkett Awards

Once again, Our SHOP was Runner-up in the Better Business section of the 2019 Plunkett Foundation Awards.  Manager Jillian Fawcett went up to London on 28th November 2019 for the prize-giving, held in the impressive surroundings of Burlington House. Congratulations to Jillian and her team and all our volunteers who make the shop such a success.

Our SHOP Shortlisted for 2019 Plunkett Award!

We have just heard that we have once again been shortlisted for an award in the 2019 Plunkett Foundation’s Rural Community Business Awards.

We are one of three shortlisted in the Horace Plunkett “Better Business” category, which recognises communities that find solutions to their needs through cooperation and enterprise.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 27th November 2019. Wish us luck!

Welcome Kerri!

A big welcome to Kerri Julier, who has joined the Our SHOP team as Julie Pearce’s replacement. Kerri lives with her partner in South Petherton and has two children aged 19 and 7. She says “I like to shop locally and make things to reduce the impact on the environment (as well as baking cakes!) and I like to support the local community”. After a career as a civil servant, Kerri worked for Tesco for 4 years and has extensive prior Post Office experience, which has enabled her to slot seamlessly into the team.

Interestingly, we used Facebook for the recruitment process and managed to find several suitable candidates, saving a large amount of money that would otherwise have had to be spent on advertising.

Annual Members’ Meeting For Year Ending 30th Sept. 2018

50 members of the HRCS Ltd attended the 7th Annual Members Meeting in St. George’s Hall on 15th February 2019. The Chairman of the Management Committee, David Clements, was able to report another successful year, with profit before tax up from £5,964 to £6,757 and an increase in shareholders’ funds from £247,989 to £254,836. Other financial highlights included using some surplus cash to pay down £10,000 of the mortgage, which stood at £160,818 at 30th September 2018.       

David presented the following two slides, which are based on information abstracted from a recent survey of Community-owned shops:

Average
Community
Shop
HRCS
Members177almost 400
Turnover£162k£243k
Paid Jobs48
Volunteers3040+
Gross Margin22%23.1%
Net Profit£3,816£8,027
Management Committee710

Other survey statistics:

  • 57% of shops have a mix of paid staff and volunteers.
  • Only 26% of shops own their freehold.
  • 43% of shops have a cafe.
  • 59% of shops have a Post Office.

Conclusion: We’re not doing badly!