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12 Apr 2019

Chris runs Little Walkers

“There are lots of shops around that you can find in any town or any part of the country. People often come to Ambleside and that’s the first place they go to. I think that’s where something like the Lake District Pound can really help, by encouraging people to go to shops that are not just generic. Once people do it, they realise that it’s a better experience and that’s what retail needs to be these days. You need to provide a really good service, an interesting shop and an experience when you go in.”

“I grew up not far away in the Eden Valley, a little village called Orton, and I worked in the outdoor industry for a long time running outdoor shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh before I began running Little Walkers 10 years ago.

“It’s a niche business and possibly the only business of its type in the country. There are online kids outdoor clothing shops, but as a physical presence we’ve never had anyone come and say they know of another shop like this. We can’t say definitely, but as far as we know we’re the only one!

“It’s a really fun job because you get some smashing kids in and you get to know the parents who come back time and time again. What’s really nice is that people actually have weekends away just to come here. They plan ahead. The best I had was someone who said it had been recommended to them and had come all the way from Stanley in the Falkland Islands. I was quite impressed with that.

“I’ve got two daughters who are 12 and nine who wear the stuff and so I see it used and I wash it and look after it. Being in a place like Ambleside there are an awful lot of people who know their gear and they want all the information, so you’ve got to know the products well.

“I think more people are going out into the hills as a family and their kids get involved and grow to love it. It’s a family activity and you can have a good day out together. People need to know that their children are going to be warm and dry, because if they’re not you’re going to know about it!

“There are lots of shops around that you can find in any town or any part of the country. People often come to Ambleside and that’s the first place they go to. I think that’s where something like the Lake District Pound can really help, by encouraging people to go to shops that are not just generic. Once people do it, they realise that it’s a better experience and that’s what retail needs to be these days. You need to provide a really good service, an interesting shop and an experience when you go in.”