Fareham shop owner from 157 Store finally takes advice from Mary Portas and it pays off

A WELL-KNOWN shop owner says he has finally decided to take Mary Portas’s advice five years later and he is delighted to see it pay off.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 6:09 pm

Andy Moore, who owns and manages retro men’s outfitters The 157store in Fareham’s West Street, has spoken about how he has survived the pandemic as part of the new Live Love Local campaign, which has been set up by Fareham Borough Council to encourage people to shop local.

The 157store has been providing a unique shopping experience for 14 years, drawing on the relationship that fashion has always had with the British music scene and the football terraces to offer retro styles from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

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Staff Jamie, Moore, Tyler Adams, Adam Moore and Andy Moore Picture: Habibur Rahman

Andy and his wife Helen have been welcoming customers with a love for clothes, music, films, sport and scooters since 2007, many of whom have become firm friends.

But when Covid hit, The 157store was forced to close his doors and that connection with the community was lost.

Andy, who has worked in retail for more than 40 years – including as a Saturday boy and then joint owner of the iconic Hellrazer clothing store in Portsmouth – set about finding new ways to reach out to customers.

‘I like to see my customers one on one,’ said Andy.

Live Love Local, a campaign to get shops and businesses across Fareham’s towns and villages buzzing in the run-up to Christmas. The campaign is designed to help the area’s diverse range of unique, independent shops and food and drink businesses bounce back after the challenges of the pandemic and rally against competition from online and out of town shopping. It is supported by Fareham Borough Council through the European Regional Development Fund. For information on traders, gift guides, events and latest news see www.livelovelocalfareham.co.uk

‘They come in for a cup of tea and chat and we chew the cud. Then lockdown hit and all that was lost. We had to find a way to survive.

‘Channel 4’s Mary Portas came to us in 2016 and featured us in her Secret Shopper series. She told us we needed to trade online, but we didn’t have the time or manpower to do it right.

‘During lockdown, my sons Adam, 24, and Jamie, 22, came back to work in the shop and, along with Adam’s friend Tyler, they started working on the website and social media channels that would put us back in touch with our customers.

The 157 store, Fareham Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We knew we had to find a way to make it personal. We couldn’t just be a click and buy. People come to us because of what we do and how we do it and we’ve tried to replicate that on the website and social media channels.

‘We have done lots of little videos, which makes it more personal, and we encourage people to interact. It’s as close as we can get to them coming into the shop and chatting with us.

‘It has worked fantastically for the business and it’s bringing in a new generation of customers. It’s been the one positive thing to come out of Covid.’

Andy loves being a part of the local community, and when the Covid pandemic shut the doors of his retro menswear shop, he knew he had to find a way to carry on delivering the personal touch.

The 157 store, Fareham Picture: Habibur Rahman

Now he hopes to see that support continue – and he is hoping the campaign will bring even more locals to his shop in the run up to Christmas.

Andy said: ‘Live Love Local is a fantastic way to get people excited about what’s available in our area. Our end of West Street is full of tiny little independent stores – it’s really vibrant and that’s because it’s the small local guys doing their own thing that make the character of a town.

‘We create the buzz, and that’s because we care.’

For more information visit the157store.com

Live Love Local is a campaign to get shops and businesses across Fareham’s towns and villages buzzing in the run-up to Christmas.

The campaign is designed to help the area’s diverse range of unique, independent shops and food and drink businesses bounce back after the challenges of the pandemic and rally against competition from online and out of town shopping.

The 157 store, Fareham, owner Andy Moore Picture: Habibur Rahman

It is supported by Fareham Borough Council through the European Regional Development Fund.

For information on traders, gift guides, events and latest news see livelovelocalfareham.co.uk