A SHOP that has banned swearing and enforced tough restrictions on bulk booze sales is winning the respect of customers with its tough love approach.
Husband and wife team Linda and Dennis Williams run their Oxgangs store with military efficiency – and have been singled out for praise as a shining example all other shopkeepers should aspire to.
Their outlawing of bad language and the steps they take to prevent alcohol being sold to minors and troublemakers have earned them particular praise from industry experts and their clientele alike.
In the latest accolade to be bestowed on them, their Broadway Convenience Store beat retail heavyweights Asda and Sainsbury’s to be named Responsible Retailer of the Year at this month’s Drinks Retailing Awards in London.
Linda said: “Because we’ve been here a long time and because we are a family business we are respected and people do treat us with respect.”
The couple, who have been running the outlet for the past 30 years, instruct staff to refuse customers trying to buy more than three bottles of cider or two eight packs of beer in efforts to crack down on binge drinking.
A five-step ID protocol is enforced to guard against underage sales, while a log book containing the names of repeat offenders is kept to clamp down on bad behaviour.
Linda added: “We don’t have a lot of problems in this particular part of Oxgangs with anti-social behaviour, but that’s because we operate zero tolerance.
“We don’t allow swearing in our store and all our customers know that we’re very strict with underage sales.”
Staff are encouraged to use their wits in checking sales and rely on the five-step ID check.
She added: “It makes the customer realise that we take this very seriously and they’re much less likely to try it on.”
Edinburgh Pentlands MSP Gordon MacDonald applauded their efforts, saying underage drinking and other social booze problems across Edinburgh could be better tackled if other off licence and shop owners took a lead from the Williams.
He said: “Shops like Broadway Convenience Store are right in the heart of local communities where, as well as providing a retail service, they have a social role to play.”
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “The force strongly supports responsible retail practices, which prevent those under the age of 18 from purchasing alcohol.”
Broadway’s husband-and-wife team are no strangers to award success.
They received the Best Customer Service and Social Responsibility gongs at last year’s Convenience Retail Awards.The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has also presented them with a gold award for Excellence in Community Retailing.
The five-step id check
1: A staff member scans the product’s barcode. Age-restricted items will flash up a warning.
2: The employee is asked to enter the rough age of the customer on a computer screen. If the customer is under 25, further checks are needed.
3: The customer is asked for their ID. If they don’t have it, the purchase is cancelled and a till slip is produced saying “sale refused”. The slip is signed by the staff member and kept.
4: If the customer does have their ID, the type of ID is checked. Only a passport, driver’s licence or a PASS hologrammed card are accepted.
5: The staff member takes the ID, examines it and enter’s the customer’s date of birth. If the customer is over 18, the sale can go ahead.