My name is Laura Roberts; I live locally in Bury where I run a social enterprise providing a service selling affordable clothing to elderly men and women who experience difficulty getting out and about. With my mobile shop, I visit nursing/residential homes, sheltered accommodation, day centres, groups and lunch clubs selling through a unique ‘clothes party’ format where I donate cakes/biscuits, music is played and customers are invited to browse at their own leisure with no pressure to purchase.
What makes us different to other retailers?
Social objectives – personal experience of shopping for a relative in care together with professional experience as a Fashion Buyer enables me to provide suitable product at great value for money
- Member of the Dementia Action Alliance – continuously working to deliver the National Dementia Declaration
- Mobile shop – helping customers to maintain independence, identity and choice with all the benefits of a shopping experience in the comfort of familiar surroundings
- Clothes party format – maintaining the fun, social side to shopping
- Customer service – customer is able to browse shop and handle products at their own leisure with no pressure to purchase
- Value for money through competitive pricing
- Choice – Esther Martin offers enough product differentiation whilst maintaining exclusivity
- Personal shopping service – for those special occasions
- Free label sewing service on items purchased
Inspiration for Esther Martin stems from my personal experience with my grandma – Esther. Like me she had a passion for shopping and liked to look her best at all times regardless of the limitations she now experiences as a result of old age. However when she moved into residential care it wasn’t as easy for her or us, to embark on regular shopping trips. Having to rely upon other people to purchase her clothes and/or take her out only emphasised further the loss of independence she was feeling from such big changes in her lifestyle. Realising that there are probably many more elderly people/families in the same situation, I wondered how we could overcome this and hence, with the concept of our ‘mobile shop’, Esther Martin was born.