Opinion

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Ask Timpo: Should we ban cheques in our stores?

1 Mins

A: I will never inflict our customers with a set of rules. Clearly they are not allowed to steal our stock but as long as they are willing to pay, I will accept whatever form of currency they are able to offer.

Customers come first. Your accountant may have a suggestion that cuts costs or saves cash but decisions purely based on financial factors aren’t always good for business.

I can’t understand shopkeepers who stick a notice on their window saying “We do not accept £50 notes” or those that put a minimum amount on their credit card sales.

We don’t turn customers away. We would accept a credit card for a 99p key ring. I would take Euros if that’s all they have in their pocket. And if they haven’t got enough money to pay for their shoe repair, I encourage our colleagues to let the customer take the shoes home, asking them to “Pay the rest when you are next passing the shop”. 

It is always worth remembering that management is an art not a science.

John Timpson runs high-street cobbler Timpson, which has 800 branches nationwide and sales of £150m. Got a question for him? Post it in the comments box below or email dearjohn@realbusiness.co.uk

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