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Ian continues to ship over 300 consumer electronic products a day from his warehouse in Abbotskerswell. An understandable way of retailing – forsaking the high street for the cost effectiveness and convenience of the on-line trading environment.
However – this recent development to open a shop gives a fascinating and encouraging insight into the future of our town centres.
He said: "I decided to open the shop to give people different buying options.
"When people buy online they see it and have it delivered. But when people come into the store it is like a showroom and they can test alternative brands. They can touch and fell the products and it gives them better buying options."
He added that he had recently been appointed to sell Bose Sound products. Something he would not have previously achieved as Bose only appoint dealerships with people who have shops.
From his newly renovated listed building premises in East Street, Ian invites customers to have a good look at his range of products and talk to knowledgeable staff.
Among the famous household names he sells are s Dyson, Miele, Vax and Flymo.
He then aims to deliver to the customer's desired location, or even to their car, should they wish, at a time to suit them – offering the 'best of both worlds'.
Sally Henley, town centre manager for Newton Abbot, said: "Increasingly, online retailers are recognising the benefits of having a physical presence on the high street, so customers can see and handle the products and manufacturers too, are just as keen to showcase their products back on the high street as they have been to display them in their virtual showrooms.
"In this local pilot, Ian is demonstrating how the online world is progressing. The high street is not dead –– it is still evolving, offering different opportunities and showing itself to have an important place in modern consumerism."