|The Sound Of Trotters On The Terrace|
We find out the secrets behind Sophie and Richard's phenomenal success
Trotters Childrenswear and Accessories was founded by Sophie Mirman and Richard Ross. This successful husband and wife team also established The Tie Rack chain of shops and then went on to create The Sock Shop and Trotters is now where their hearts and souls lie.
In 1990 the Kings Road welcomed the first Trotters store, the superb and much adored one stop shop for children. The recipe was spot on and Trotters went on to open shops on the exclusive High Street Kensington, then the vibrant Northcote Road in Clapham, next in Guildford’s busy town centre and now, their 5th store, in Chiswick's Turnham Green Terrace.
Sophie has won many awards including Veuve Clicquot ‘Business Woman of the Year’, Institute of Marketing, ‘Marketing Woman of the Year’ and ‘Motivator of the Year’. Sophie has obviously inherited a talented gene; The daughter of French Parents, her father represented the Paris fashion house of Christian Dior in the UK and her mother, the late Simone Mirman, became a favourite milliner to the Queen and to the late Queen Mother and was the first French woman to receive two Royal Warrants.
For over 18 years Sophie and Richard have been masters in catering for children’s needs. With Trotters they offer a vast range of the best shoes available with an expert to fit them ~ in store hairdressing in front of their famous fish tanks and the top natural hair care products on the market ~ beautifully finished and affordable clothes for all occasions and entirely exclusive to Trotters ~ an irresistible array of books and toys as well as gifts galore ~ including adorable presents for new born babies and little treats for the ten year olds.
The business has gradually developed into a small chain of tremendously successful shops. This is due to hard work, dedication and attention to detail and customers. Due to Sophie and Richard’s extensive experience in retailing Trotters continues to thrive even in this exceptionally difficult financial climate.
Trotters is truly a family affair - Sophie and Richard have three children who may often be seen working in the stores during their holidays: A family business, for families.
We asked Sophie…
What was it about Chiswick that attracted you?
Chiswick, in particular Turnham Green is a family-friendly area with great schools and a village atmosphere. There is great pride and desire for individuality .Customers are both discerning and appreciative of family-run businesses, which Trotters is.
Where do you see Trotters going from here?
We are perfectly happy with where we are at present. Our great excitement and ambition is reserved for creating great new products...we are brimming with new ideas, and there is really so much more we shall be doing in the next year.
Do you have any ambitions to open other stores with an alternative customer in mind?
No. we are often asked this. As customers out grow us and are disappointed that we are not raising our age range. We advise them to have more children!
How do you feel your parents influenced you in relation to the work you do now?
My mother was a huge influence on me. As Milliner to the queen and the late Queen Mother, she was a perfectionist who was never happy until everything she did was just right. Her hats made her customers happy, just as we try and do with ours. Trotters was created as a place where both parents and children were comfortable and happy. From the enormous amount of feedback we receive from both current and former customers, we are succeeding.
Given your experiences with your previous ventures what single most important piece of advice would offer to any developing retailers struggling to stay buoyant through this current economic crisis?
Quality, value and design are still the most important ingredients for a successful product. Always listen to your customers, especially if they have a complaint! Never be complacent, and NEVER take your customers for granted, especially in these difficult times. Never, ever accept second best.
May 7, 2009