Quality and service key to success in tough times: Apperleys
Apperleys Butchers says the key to keeping going amid supply chain and food price inflation challenges is quality and customer service.
In an interview with NR, John Apperley admits the business is finding some items are harder to source at the minute and prices are rising, due to the recent supply chain and inflation issues hitting the sector.
“It’s been a big concern probably over the last three or four months. Supply is difficult to get and prices are increasing – it’s deadly and there’s maybe not much end in sight yet,” John says.
“People are getting things tight and don’t have much spare cash. We’re trying to keep the prices as competitive as possible but it’s difficult now at the minute. Unfortunately you have to raise prices just to stay afloat – energy costs and fuel are the biggest problems at the minute and are having a big impact.”
The Apperley family has launched three butcher’s shops since the start of the 2020 lockdown, in Antrim, Ballymena and Ballymoney.
“We try to source locally as much as possible, so we use Omagh Meats, part of Foyle Food Group and Hewitt meats for our beef. The pork is sourced locally from Galgorm Meats. It’s all about quality and service, a good quality product and a good service,” John says.
“Customer service is very important nowadays – a lot of that personal touch has gone in retail. So we are training our staff up to look after the customers – I think that’s very important.
“We’ve wee recipe cards there and the staff would be well trained to answer any cooking queries the customers have.
“People are probably starting to do a bit more cooking at home now with the price increases but they’re watching what they’re spending too. They’ve started to ask for cheaper things again, even just cheaper things like mince, sausages and burgers, trying to make a pound spread a bit further.”