Gooseberry Boutique leads the way with Oswestry's friendly shops!
24th February 2010
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‘Friendly’ Oswestry makes its mark in nationwide survey

A team of mystery shoppers and town centre assessors have given Oswestry the stamp of approval in a survey aimed at improving the town’s overall retail experience.

Throughout December, a professional team carried out the Location Model project, designed by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail, to see how well Oswestry performed in a number of different areas, from shop standards to town centre cleanliness.

A mystery shopping test evaluated the performance of 30 independent retailers in the town, producing a score of 84.9%, well above the 80% benchmark, placing Oswestry 17th out of almost 80 towns which have so far been assessed.

24 of the 30 shops recorded individual scores above 80% and 17 had their customer service rated as good or very good. This good performance meant that in 92% of the cases mystery shoppers would return to the shop and 88% would recommend it to a friend.

The best performing shop in Oswestry was Gooseberry Boutique on Leg Street which scored an almost perfect 96.6%. This was closely followed by florists Hobo, also on Leg Street (95.0%) and Just the Right Thing on Beatrice Street (94.9%).

The team from market research company ESA, which has over 25 years of experience carrying out similar projects for some of the UK’s biggest retailers, also interviewed 100 shoppers in the street to ask their opinion of Oswestry.

Nine out of ten (88%) felt the town was clean and tidy and more than three-quarters (78%) said public facilities were easy to find. The variety of independent shops scored highly (80%). The general feeling of safety in the town was also a very positive 98%.

Half of those questioned (49%) said they had seen definite improvements to Oswestry over the past two years, and almost eight out of ten (78%) said there was no need for a new supermarket.

The final part of the Location Model was a town centre assessment which found that car parking was easy to find, there was no anti-social behaviour and that the majority of shops were open. The assessor commented: “Oswestry is a very friendly town, which is peaceful and quiet.”

Oswestry is the fourth of six Shropshire towns to undertake the Location Model and receive its results. In December, neighbouring Ellesmere scored 85.4% and in January, Market Drayton and Ludlow scored 88.7% and 86.9% respectively. Shropshire now has the 4th, 10th, 15th and 17th highest scoring towns in the Location Model project. In March, Whitchurch and Bridgnorth will also find out how they fared. The Shropshire project is part of a wider 15-town project funded by Advantage West Midlands also taking place in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

David Roberts, cabinet member for local environment and economy at Shropshire Council, was pleased to see another Shropshire town fare so well in the Location Model. He said: “After the successful results in Ellesmere, Market Drayton and Ludlow, it is great to see another Shropshire town impress the professionals so much.

“While there is a lot to be proud about, this survey presents us with a great opportunity to take stock and move forward, so that everyone who comes to Oswestry, whether they are from the local area or from further afield, has a positive experience.

“This survey has helped bolster what most of us already know, that Oswestry is a great place to shop, visit and live. We now need to get this message out as wide as possible and we are all now looking forward to the remaining four results from across the county.”


Skillsmart Retail is the Sector Skills Council for Retail. Part-funded by Government and led by retailers, it aims to be the recognised authority on retailers’ skills needs and priorities.  Its mission is to drive a step change in skills levels in retail by:

·       Making a compelling case for the formal recognition of retail skills

·       Uniting retailers to simplify and improve access to the skills system

·       Improving the quality of new recruits into the retail sector

·       Raising the skills levels of the existing workforce in retail operations

About the Author

John W

Member since: 10th July 2012

A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)

With kind thanks

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