Should I leave the dust on my bottles of fine claret and Burgundy to add to the mystique of these wines?
A Dust means two things: stock that people don't want to buy
and a manager who doesn't care enough about the stock to keep it clean. It adds up to a shop I wouldn't want to visit.
AWe leave our fine wines to gather dust because I don't want to keep picking them up and disturbing sediment and generally fiddling about with them. It does absolutely no harm to the wine in the bottle either .
James, North Yorks
AI used to work for a shop where the slightly loopy owner used to add fake dust to bottles on display to make them look older than they were. I wouldn't call it "mystique" though.
Barry, North Wales
Q Would a realistic-looking panic button on my counter deter potential robbers?
A It may well do, but panic buttons are not the panacea you may think they are. When I worked at Unwins in the late 1990s our security chief was opposed to panic buttons, real or fake, because they had the potential to panic robbers into a sudden act of violence. We were told that people had actually been hurt when armed raiders had seen them press these buttons.
A Conspicuous CCTV cameras would be a better investment. There is absolutely no point in resorting to gimmicks or skimping on costs when it comes to protecting your business, your staff and yourself.
Q I occasionally receive promotional merchandise from suppliers and cash and carries. Is it acceptable to use this stuff as incentives for staff if they hit certain targets?
A, south London
Q If I offer baskets to customers as they enter my shop, will my average transaction value increase?