Agents throughout Australia are sharing the new and exciting ways they are diversifying their business but this one may be the sweetest of them all.
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Travellers Choice member Belmore Travel, located in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn, has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by transforming its office into a lolly shop, offering its clients confectionery from all around the world.
Owner Sue Brownley said that with the shop empty, the agency needed to do something that would maintain its profile and its connection with the local community and loyal clients.
“You’ve got to show people you are still here; that you’re not going anywhere,” Brownley said.
“And we were also encouraged by the fact that people were still dropping by the shop just to say hello and have a quick chat.”
The shop, A World of Lollies, has only been operating for three weeks, but Brownley said it’s going well, with brisk sales of “delicious Lockdown Lolly Packs and Iso-Packs”, which the agency can safely deliver.
“We’ve had a lot of grandparents sending lollies to their grandkids, who they can’t see,” she said.
“And it’s been nice to hear back from people who’ve received the sweets that they really enjoyed the surprise.”
The shop’s biggest seller has been Rocky Road, produced by a local Melbourne company. And in terms of international sweets, New Zealand’s Perky Nana bar is proving a hit.
“It’s a nice additional sideline, which I think we’ll continue with even once COVID is over,” Brownley said.
“It’s a good use of space and it might be a nice touch if, for instance, we reward clients with a Perky Nana when they book a trip with us to New Zealand.”
Ultimately, she said the lolly shop has helped keep her sane.
“You can’t let it all get you down and it’s uplifting to put smiles on people’s faces. My advice to other agencies is come up with an idea and give it a go. It’s better than sitting around doing nothing!”