Staff takeover at Eve & Ranshaw for Channel Four show

Hilary Devey with staff from Eve & Ranshaw on Friday afternoon (Photo: Jessica Thompson). EMN-150223-092518001
Hilary Devey with staff from Eve & Ranshaw on Friday afternoon (Photo: Jessica Thompson). EMN-150223-092518001

An upcoming Channel Four documentary series will feature Louth’s oldest store following a three week “reinvention” by staff members.

Staff at Eve & Ranshaw were given the opportunity to reinvent the store, with a little guidance from celebrity businesswoman Hilary Devey.

The Mablethorpe Town Crier helps to draw in the crowds outside Eve & Ranshaw for the grand reopening. EMN-150220-112106001

The Mablethorpe Town Crier helps to draw in the crowds outside Eve & Ranshaw for the grand reopening. EMN-150220-112106001

The three week project was captured by film crews for an upcoming Channel Four television documentary series, which is set to air in the spring.

The show, provisionally titled ‘The Takeover’, is fronted by celebrity businesswoman and former Dragons’ Den panellist, Hilary Devey - who joined the team of staff members to offer ideas, guidance and support.

On Friday (February 20), the reinvention was finally complete and the store was opened to the public, with Ms Devey turning up in the afternoon to take a look round and offer her views.

Margaret Ottaway MBE, a long-standing figure in the town, was invited to cut the ribbon on Friday morning before dozens of excited customers flocked into the store.

Mablethorpe’s Town Crier was also present outside the shop front before the grand opening took place at 10am, drawing in the intrigued crowds and managing traffic at the same time.

But what is the store’s reinvention - and the upcoming Channel Four show - really all about?

Eve & Ranshaw’s office manager, Janette Arnold, said: “On January 31, owner David Sandwith turned over the store to the staff, who he said is his greatest asset.

“Together with a budget, we were given three weeks to reinvent Eve & Ranshaw, to put our stamp on it - and that is 
what we have done.

“Our mentor was Hilary Devey, and it’s been good. She’s nice, but she’s a very strong lady and she won’t take no for an answer - if you say to her ‘that can’t be done’ then she’ll argue that it can be.”

Janette explained that the team critiqued each and every department in Eve & Ranshaw, before discussing ideas and looking at the budget to see if those ideas could be implemented.

‘The Takeover’ will see around half a dozen shops across the country undergo the same process as Eve & Ranshaw, with staff members being handed the reins and attempting to revive their company’s fortunes.

When Hilary Devey popped along to Eve & Ranshaw, she told the Leader that the team had done a “fabulous job” during their three week takeover of the store.

Ms Devey said: “It’s been a real team effort, and they’ve really gone for it.

“What I’ve done is just mentored the staff. My role has been their enabler, their liberator. I’ve liberated them from direction for every minutiae.

“At first, they’re walking round in a dream because what I said is you’re now all managing directors, you’re mistresses of your own destiny, so go for it girls.

“The girls were fabulous to work with on the whole. We had a few histrionics, as the pressure was on.

“We’ve had laughter, we’ve had tears, we’ve had despair... it’s been a journey for every single one of them.

“The challenge for me was to make them enjoy and learn from that journey, and I think every single one of them will say they have learned and, at the end of it, they’ve realised that they have enjoyed it.

“They have worked on their own initiative, but what I needed to do was to start that initiative and then it was their job to complete it.”

Ms Devey added: “I’ve got a business here in Lincolnshire, but this has been my first time in Louth and I love it. It’s very quintessentially English and lovely.”

• So what has changed at Eve & Ranshaw? Some of the new developments include:

- A beauty treatment section within the store, including a range of organic ‘Pinks Boutique’ beauty products.
- The store has become the first stockist to feature ‘HD Brows’ make-up in store, which could previously only be bought online.

- An infants department which includes clothes, toys and gifts.
- A new ‘travel corner’ with all your holiday essentials
- New tea towels and shopping bags designed by a staff member with a new brand, ‘1781’.

- The store has also launched a new loyalty card scheme - pop in to the store for more details.