9:52am Monday 13th August 2012
LUSH co-founder Mark Constantine has called for business rates to be scrapped for smaller shops as a way of protecting Britain’s high streets.
The entrepreneur made the comments during a speech to the Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club, in which he was asked about ways to benefit local businesses. He said that stopping business rates for shops under 100 square foot would provide an immediate boost for small business owners currently struggling to survive and compete against big national chains.
Mark also gave an insight into why the Poole-based cosmetics company has continued to be so successful, when other established businesses have failed.
“We’re ethical and inventive and make sure that 30 per cent of our lines are new every year,” he said. “The business world is too marketing heavy but, at Lush, we are careful not to market to one specific group with any of our products and, of course, the internet helps blur the lines of demographics.”
He also confirmed he personally posted on his own Facebook page and said: “Using social media, such as my own personal Facebook page as well as different forums, allows me to listen and interact with Lush’s followers and gauge reactions to our products and services.
“It’s what more companies should be doing; listening to their customers. Of course, you have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth but largely if you’re not talking to your customers, what are you doing?”
The Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club was set up in 2000 by Frances Miles and Tracey Wood, who are both directors of Jobshop UK. It is open to all women from sole traders to multi-national organisations.
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