Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
- Entered the shop, and spent at least one minute "taking stock" of her surroundings
- Upon being greeted, she gave me a winning smile, but did not engage in any banter
- Exuded air of confidence in the retail environment
- Was dressed smart but not showy, business-like but not corporate
- Carried smart business-like portfolio, or the kind that I imagine mystery shoppers would carry (containing mystery shopper questionnaires, review documents, feedback forms, training material, etc.)
- Spent several minutes casually checking the shop
- Selected a popular title off the fiction shelves from an author who doesn't do well in the shop normally (marking her out as "not a typical Mostly Books customer" and "a stranger in these parts" - that last expression to be said in Oxfordshire or West Country accent)
- Asked tricky questions about recommendations for a 12-year-old nephew (unnamed). Fortunately, "books for 12 year old boys"would be my chosen specialist subject if I ever appeared on mastermind - ha ha!
- Appeared slightly stunned once I'd loaded her with books, explained the loyalty card, gave her the current issue of the newsletter. Nevertheless, she clung determinedly to initial purchase selection, and simply said she'd have to "ask about which book her nephew might want".
- When engaged in casual conversation during sales transaction about where she was from, said she was just "passing through Abingdon" on "business".
So what do you think? Prime candidate or what? Or perhaps I simply need to go and lie down... ...or alternatively spend a day stocktaking, which is (groan) what will be happening in the shop all day tomorrow...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
And then we waited.
The visit had been meticulously planned. Aside from the official paperwork that is always needed for anything this high profile (mostly involving liaison between the respective embassies in Devon and Oxfordshire) the complications of coordinating all the parties behind the scenes had led to two previous visits falling through. But this was a case of third time lucky.
And at about 11am our patience was rewarded. Her entourage opened the door, the children burst into song - and we welcomed dovegreyreader to Mostly Books.
(OK - some of this might have been exaggerated - but I did sweep the shop that morning specially).
It was particularly delighted to meet Lynne in the flesh (so-to-speak) after two years of virtual communication. She has been a massive supporter of the shop since before we opened, she was as delightful as I imagined she would be, and I can only hope the visit - coming as it did after her stonking appearance at the Oxford Literary Festival - lived up to all her expectations.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
These were the first - I'll resist referring to them as "lucky truckers":
But I'm pleased to report - with the help of the wonderful Deborah and Claire - that sales went smoothly, we sold out of our initial 200 allocation, and there was no BA-style screw-up (phew)!
We've got more tickets, so they are still available. More about Truck and Wood can be found here.
All of this has overshadowed an important royal visitor we had earlier in the week. More on this exciting and eagerly anticipated milestone for Mostly Books shortly...