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Family Business Centenarian Charles Clinkard On Agility In Business

Charles Clinkard is an established name in the retail industry, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. And, like any successful business, it’s learnt to be adaptable. Here, Rachel Clinkard from Charles Clinkard shares her insight into business agility.


In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the ability to adapt and thrive in the face of constant change has become crucial for successful enterprises. Whether it's embracing technological advancements, acknowledging shifts in consumer behaviour, or coping with unforeseen market disruptions, businesses need to possess the agility to pivot swiftly and effectively.

To get you thinking about your own business, here I’ll talk about the power of embracing change and give you three ways to stay ahead of the curve.


Adapt To New Technology

In an era dominated by digital transformation, businesses that fail to embrace technology risk falling behind. It’s important to think about relevant technology early on in your business journey and make strategic investments in digital infrastructure to cater to evolving consumer preferences.


For example, by creating a user-friendly website and embracing multi-channel retailing, you can not only expand your reach but also enhance the overall customer experience. The smooth integration of online and offline channels allows customers to engage with your brand on their own terms, whether browsing products online or visiting a physical store. This omnichannel approach not only increases convenience for customers but can also help to bolster sales and brand loyalty.


At Charles Clinkard, our commitment to digital marketing has been instrumental in driving brand visibility and customer engagement. By leveraging social media platforms, targeted advertising, and email campaigns, we’ve effectively reached out to diverse audiences and communicated the brand’s value in a crowded marketplace.


Embracing technology isn’t just about staying relevant; it’s about leveraging innovation to create meaningful connections with customers and drive sustainable growth.

Keep Customers At The Forefront

The retail landscape is extremely competitive, so customer-centricity is crucial for business success. Putting customers first contributes towards your resilience and longevity, and by recognising the diverse needs and preferences of your clientele, your company can continually evolve its offerings and services to deliver exceptional value.


One notable initiative we’ve undertaken at Charles Clinkard is an investment in autism awareness training for staff. By equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to cater to individuals with autism, we’ve fostered an inclusive and supportive environment for all customers. Commitment to accessibility not only demonstrates empathy and social responsibility, but it’s also opened up new market opportunities and has strengthened our brand reputation.


Personalised shopping experiences can set you apart in an age of mass production and fast fashion. From expert fitting services to tailored product recommendations, go above and beyond to cater to the unique needs of each customer. By prioritising individualised attention and genuine human connections, you can cultivate a loyal customer base that transcends transactional interactions.


Navigate Market Disruptions

In today’s volatile business environment, disruptions can upend even the most well-laid plans. A company’s ability to navigate turbulent waters with agility and resilience Is invaluable — whether it’s economic downturns, supply chain disruptions, or global pandemics, your business should have the capacity to adapt and innovate in response to adversity.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, at Charles Clinkard we swiftly pivoted operations to accommodate changing circumstances while prioritising the safety and well-being of customers and employees. From implementing stringent hygiene measures in stores to enhancing online shopping capabilities, we demonstrated a nimble and proactive approach to crisis management.


What’s more, by embracing digital solutions such as virtual fitting consultations and contactless payments, we not only mitigated the impact of the pandemic but also positioned the company for long-term success post-pandemic. So, when faced with a challenge, look for opportunities to improve your service with both benefits for now and in the future.


The success stories of businesses like Charles Clinkard are evidence of the transformative power of business agility. By embracing technological innovation, prioritising customer-centricity, and responding adeptly to market disruptions, companies may not only survive but thrive.

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