When Gunn Helen Lystad took over as store manager at Coop Byggmix in Aure four years ago, the store was rebuilt. But then new racks had to be put in, and new ones rebuilt. The work was done on a voluntary basis.
There wasn’t much time to rest, so we all keep our pants size together, says Lystad, continuing:
It is important to make use of the space we have. We have 350 square meters to work with, and we’re on the cusp of outgrowing the building. Our inventory really means we should have 1,500 square metres, Lestad says.
Work is underway behind the scenes to get bigger places, but nothing concrete yet.
She says they have seen steady growth over the past four years. But the pandemic has created strange challenges and situations that they have not been exposed to before.
First, we learned that there is a lot that can be done on Skype and Teams. But the epidemic has made it difficult to obtain several types of goods. There have been delays due to a lack of drivers and queues at customs, Lestad says.
In the second year of the epidemic, supplies began to run out.
– Lots of people have taken advantage of the time during the pandemic to renovate and we have sold many items. Then hit the shortage of raw materials. I’ve worked with Jotun for 17 years and for the first time they couldn’t provide special colors due to lack of raw materials. Another example is that we only received three wheelbarrows that season. We could have sold a lot, much more, says Lestad, and adds:
– Although we have found many alternative shipping methods, we see very little production in Norway. We depend on foreign players.
Hobby turned into a business: – We were lucky with the timing
Opened after closing time
One of the measures they have taken during the pandemic has been to open the store after closing time, so that at-risk groups can be invited into the store without the risk of infection.
Then the elderly and others in the at-risk group can book alone time in the store without fear of infection. People in the risk group became very isolated and we wanted them to have the opportunity to do something, of course, to be able to go to a store and shop. With such alternative solutions, we have been able to help more people than we can. We learned a lot from this, Lestad says.
– Electricity, fuel and food prices have risen. Is there anything you notice?
– We see that more people are postponing their construction projects, and I think that many have become adept at building a financial reserve. I think people are good at evaluating that.
SFORCA’s Sunshine Story: – A great response to solar cells
I got the price
After four years of great volunteer work and long days, the staff was crowned by the 2021 Byggmix Store title at Coop Nordvest.
Nobody was as happy as I was when we got the award. We have worked hard for four years with loyal customers, which means a lot to us. We have patient clients and I would like to thank them for their patience with us. We’re sharing this award with customers, Lystad says, and an invitation to celebrate the award on Saturday, August 20.
– If it rains, we will move the event to the warehouse. There will be a barbecue anyway, if the fire alarm goes off. We want to pamper our customers a little bit this day, we’ll go with cake and coffee, we’ll light up the grill and serve up barbecue food. This is free for our awesome customers and members. A customer will be able to take the grill home with them. This is how we want to give back to our customers, says Lestad.
Read also: Named Best Store of the Year: – It’s nice to show yourself among the big ones!
The store currently has 2.6 business years divided between three permanent employees and three temporary on-call workers.
– We’re only ladies here, so internally, the shop is called hønehuset, Lystad says and laughs.
Gunn Helen created a special design for a popular fishing lure
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