Read part one, part two, part three, part four and part five16 Services for the time-poorWhether you pick up their dry cleaning and book their flights, like concierge service Ten UK, or sell their unwanted items on eBay, like Trading4You, the time-poor are a reliable cash cow. Alex Cheatle, founder of Ten UK, says: “Although our members are feeling less affluent, they come back for the service. We’re growing ten per cent a month.” Ten UK will post a profit of £1m on a turnover of £15m this year. Bradley McLoughlin’s removal and sales firm Trading4You is on top form. “In a recession, lots of people are getting rid of unwanted stuff but they don’t have the time to do it themselves. Business has never been better,” he says.
17 Online jewellery retailAs high-street jewellers forecast a 50 per cent drop in turnover, their online counterparts are seeing a boom. Gary Ingram, founder of The Diamond Store, says his firm has seen a 30 per cent jump in sales this year. “If you can assure the quality of your stones and offer savings to the customer, this is a huge market.” Minimal overheads mean Ingram’s firm can undercut the high street by 40 per cent or more. “People aren’t going to stop getting engaged because of a recession,” he says. “But they are going to try to find the best deal they can.”
18 BanksBanks are feeling the squeeze more than most – but they could become your best client. Banks are working harder than ever to hold on to their customers. Ten UK’s Cheatle has seen partnerships with Coutts, Barclays and Lloyds Private Banking bring 150,000 new members into his concierge service during the past two years. “Banks are looking to delight their customers. Especially with customer confidence at an all-time low,” he says.
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