ONE FORTY: the independent destination store. Guest blog about #IndieRetail Store @140Cranleigh

One Forty is the antidote to bland high street chains.  Now firmly established as a THE ‘general store and café’ for those in the know, it is a cornucopia of stylish and eclectic fashions, gifts and homewares, many of which are rarely seen elsewhere.  And its award-winning café means shoppers travel for miles to this gorgeous and relaxing destination.

What makes One Forty different to a chain store?

elaine grahamFormer international fashion designer Elaine Graham who, along with her husband Richard own One Forty, explains why the Cranleigh, Surrey store attracts seasoned and savvy shoppers who regularly also head for London, Paris and New York.

“Most chain store buyers buy ‘safely’.  They know what they can sell easily and don’t take chances on their stock.

one forty bag

We source specifically to offer different and exclusive lines, whether it’s clothing, bags and accessories sourced from a Spanish fishing village, to exquisite handcrafted soaps and candles from small businesses around us in the Surrey Hills.

We also sell one-off furniture finds, whether from an auction house or something stumbled across in our travels.

“This would be a risky strategy for many outlets, but One Forty has gone from strength to strength by offering beautiful and unusual things that are stocked in just a handful of outlets across the UK.”

One Forty has an award winning cafe

one forty globeOne Forty’s café has become a favourite destination in its own right too with mouthwatering, stunningly presented dishes served throughout the day.

one forty cafe

Fresh, locally sourced produce is important to One Forty’s ethos of high quality and sound ethics.  Shopping can start after a ‘Bubbly Breakfast’ – or end with a luxurious afternoon tea served on an eclectic mix of pretty bone china and antique French linen cloth.  Sociable evening classes over a glass of wine are planned to start in the café later this year.

‘A Taste of One Forty at Home’ takes the pressure off catering for your own parties with a delicious range of desserts, cakes and savoury dishes all made to order and ready for collection on the day.

A family business, founded on passion and a love of product

One Forty is a family business. The original shop was owned by Richard’s parents and was based in Lewisham, South London.  Fed up with life as credit drapers, they moved to the rather more genteel surroundings of Cranleigh.

After meeting each other whilst working for Richard Branson on a Eurostar retail concept, they realised they had more than work in common so decided to spend time travelling together.  They picked up inspiration along the way and in between running off to Gretna Green to get married, converting a barn to live in and having children, realised the potential for the Graham’s family store to be reinvented.  It has been energetically transformed year after year since.

Celebrating Independent Retail Success

One Forty is now an example of independent retail success.  Shopping there is a true sensory occasion, with different room-sets evoking different atmospheres.   Service levels are superb – and staff are friendly, helpful and genuinely passionate about the store and products.  As a measure of staff loyalty two of the original ‘Graham’s girls’ are still there – and will celebrate their 25th anniversary with the company next year.

The store is run like a large, well organised family with hard work, imagination and creativity leading to a constantly evolving visual feast.  All staff are encouraged to have their input.

Customers are vociferous in their praise for One Forty – and word of mouth has now spread into a strong social media following.  One Forty can be found at: www.oneforty.co.uk, on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/One-Forty and Twitter: @140cranleigh

One Forty is a true experiential retail destination in a sea of ubiquitous identikit high street names.

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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