Small Business Saturday Blog

#SmallBiz100 Joco returns to its roots

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 06:00

Nuneaton's largest dedicated gift shop and former #SmallBiz100, Joco Interiors, has relocated for what owner Jo Williams describes as “a fourth and final time”.
Joco offers local artists and crafters a valuable resource to sell what they make, alongside branded merchandise such as Harry Potter and Disney. Catering for all tastes and budgets, their ranges start from just 99p, and cover anything from gothic style skulls to Disney princesses.
When it opened back in April 2015, Joco was based in a tiny shop on the outskirts of Nuneaton. After two years, with a low footfall and an equally low turnover, Jo had to decide whether to close her doors altogether or take a leap of faith and move premises. She chose the latter, moving to the Abbeygate Shopping Centre in the heart of Nuneaton. Fortunately, the gamble paid off: her turnover multiplied five-fold and she soon had to take on her first member of staff, followed by an apprentice.
Within two years, Joco had outgrown the unit it was in, and relocated again, this time to the prestigious Ropewalk Shopping Centre in Nuneaton town centre, while the team grew to include six part-time staff.
Now they’re back on Queens Road in Nuneaton: Jo told us “It’s where it all began back in 2015, albeit in a shop 10 times the size of the original one!” They completed the move back in August 2022, and share the space with Jo’s other business, Terry’s Bed Centre.
Supporting the local community with fundraisers and attending charity events has made Joco a household name locally, and they also support three local charities as often as they can, with raffles, donating prizes for events and a collection tin for change.
Joco offers a savings club for those who would like to spread the cost of a big event such as a wedding or Christmas, a loyalty card scheme and payment plans for larger items. The small team is very friendly and will help with any customer query, even if it means directing them to another shop in the town.
Jo told us, “Times are tough and weathering the storm is incredibly stressful, but the team is pulling together and coming up with innovative ideas to ensure the business’s survival. With many new plans already in the pipeline, these will be announced shortly to our customers, and we are working with our suppliers to create some jaw dropping window displays. I will definitely be taking part in Shop Small again this year.”
Joco recently won Coventry and Warwickshire Retailer of the Year 2022, then Jo was announced as one of the UK’s 100 inspiring female entrepreneurs as part of the f:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign, and finally the shop has just been crowned as the Best Independent Gift Shop in Midlands and Wales for the third time in the Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2023 – so let’s hope the new premises have room for a large trophy cabinet too.
Visit Joco Interiors at 42-44 Queens Rd, Nuneaton CV11 5JZ or online here. Joco is taking part in American Express’ Shop Small campaign: find them here on the Shop Small Map, and click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


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