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UK Hand Knitting reveals yarn shop research results

By Mark Hayhurst 06 Sep 2017

UK Hand Knitting, the industry body for wholesale yarn producers in the UK, has revealed the results of research it carried out earlier in the year with yarn retailers across the UK.

Russell Morris (pictured), chairman of UK Hand Knitting, said: “We decided to undertake the research for our members so we could get a deeper understanding of the state of the UK yarn retail sector.”

The comprehensive survey included questions about turnover, products sold, workshops, the challenges faced by yarn shops and their greatest success.

The overall atmosphere is positive, with 80 per cent of respondents expressing some level of optimism about the future. However, the businesses do face challenges, the most pressing of which are cash flow, competition and getting more customers through the door – a common scenario for any high street retailer.

Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform, with 87 per cent of retailers using these channels posting regularly about their business. Respondents turning over more than £50,000 show it having a positive impact on their turnover.

Although the range of products sold hasn’t changed significantly in the last five years, engaging more with customers through workshops, knitting groups and improvements in customer service is proving to have a significant and positive effect on turnover, especially for medium-sized businesses.

Russell added: “We appreciate that running a yarn shop in today’s market can be very challenging. Through our research we now have an invaluable insight which will help us to support our customers even more in the future.”

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