She came from a design-led entrepreneurial business and brought with her the energy and knowledge to deliver exciting customer-focused ranges with stories to tell, increases of 9.1 per cent in overall sales and 20 per cent in profit and a 50 per cent reduction in stock keeping unit count over 18 months.
The improved product proposition has led to an average selling price increase and growth 8.6 per cent ahead of the Garden Centre Association's benchmarked figures since March 2016.
Claudia's approach was to refresh the existing range to meet changing customer expectations. The range had been too reliant on "me too" products and personalisation spinners. Some products were discontinued or given a new merchandising look and new ones were introduced.
She examined customer profiles and identified target customers as well as their tastes and preferences. She identified a gap in alignment and an opportunity to provide a more customer-centric offering.
Claudia identified the need for a more refined range and more exclusivity. After significant customer research, She recognised that Notcutts' customers would be inspired by outstanding visual merchandising, creating lifestyle displays and settings. This would encourage the impulse purchase for self treats and gifts for others. She also optimised space based on sales and margin contribution.
New and exclusive ranges ensured Notcutts could strongly differentiate from other retailers and become a destination for home and gift.
Notcutts team met with 300 UK and 30 European and Far East suppliers across 12 buying categories. They did a Mary Portas/Supermarket Sweep-style removal of products that did not meet the new criteria at the Norwich store. The team also developed strong supplier relationships and introduced 80 per cent new products across the range.