Monthly Archives: June 2014

No news is good news?

At Pickwick we don’t agree! Good news is good news. And this feed is about good news. Firstly, we are hugely excited about our impending anniversary – on 14 July 2014, Pickwick Pawnbrokers is 10 years old! As a small, independent business, we have prided ourselves on our close customer relationships and service – a task fairly easy when you have one shop and three staff (as we did starting out back in the day) – but much harder when we have 28 staff, six stores, a fully functioning mother-ship (Head Office!) and two concession stores offering pawnbroking ‘up country’! It’s not been easy, but they say anything worth having never comes easily – such a true statement. The sense of pride that comes from seeing a little acorn grow into six strong oaks, is difficult to describe.

So – how did we do it?

How did we achieve such solid, reliable success over the past ten years? Well, of course, it’s all down to the fantastic leadership of our Directors and shareholders and our tireless efforts working 24/7, eating, sleeping and breathing everything Pickwick………… Cough…… Actually that’s complete POPPYCOCK! The key to our success? Our staff and our customers.

Clichéd though it is, it really is true. A bit like being biased about one’s children or pets, everyone believes theirs are the best – but we REALLY DO believe it! Our staff summed up in five words? Professional, skilled, honest, reliable and loyal. Oh, yes and a bonus word – FUN. We love the idea of having a culture of fun in our stores as to enjoy your working environment has been proved countless times, to improve productivity, success and effectiveness.

So, as a tribute to our brilliant staff (don’t tell them I said, that, else pay-rise applications will surely follow as does night-day!), over the next few news-feeds, we are going to write a short description of each and every member of our staff – no escapees! The obvious place to start, is the beginning – and so the three victims…. ahem, I mean, subjects are our first three members of staff from our first store, Walworth – Angie, Debbie and Sam. Angie was the Manager with Debbie assistant and Sam assistant to that. Both Debbie and Sam have been promoted on to be Managers’ of their own stores, Eltham and Dartford. As a repayment for the ten years of leg-pulling and general grief us suffering Directors have had to endure, here is a revenge summary of them for you!

Angie “Thing-a-mejig’” Reilly
As you may be aware, pawnbroking is about 3,000 years old. Angie has been in the trade for about that length of time. In fairness, she wears well – usually jewellery bought from the company at huge staff discount. Her familiar war-cry of “Listen” or “You know who I mean – thing-a-mejig”, can be heard in the Folkestone store, even when she’s still at Walworth. Angie is a true pawnbroker in the traditional sense of the word – a reliable figure in her local community who has lived and worked there pretty much all of her life. Anyone that has tried to nip down the Walworth Road with Angie, will be able to tell she’s a proper local – it takes about 15 minutes for a hundred yard amble, as she is stopped by all and sundry “You alright love?”“Yes doll” says the first passer by – the next holla’s “Hi Ang – I’ll be in on Wednesday to renew my ticket – hang on to it for me!”“You know it’s safe with me” Angie shouts back. Winks, nudges and waves follow from what seems like every other person “It pays to know your locals” Angie says wisely.

Angie is great, she takes no nonsense and has seen the game over so many years, there’s not much that she doesn’t know. She’s got a heart of gold (pun intended) and for all of her bark, she’s the most incredibly generous, sensitive and caring soul – and so is the bark less verocious than the bite? Who knows, but I’m not chancing it, think American-Pitbull and don’t take risks!!!

Debbie “Oh so quiet” Franklin
Debbie is best known for her quiet, shy and retiring personality – a woman who wouldn’t say ‘Boo to a goose”. Really? Err….. I think not! Debs is best known for being slightly louder than the Euro fighter jet taking off whilst the pilot entertains ACDC playing at Wembley Stadium volumes in the cockpit. Shy? Never. Retiring? When – can’t wait – it will save us a fortune on earplugs!

Ok, now that was unkind. Debs is one in a million and in her advanced role of supporting Directors, has taken to this with her usual enthusiasm and absolute commitment. But! Poor Deb – had she been as committed as she is to Pickwick to the 150 diets that she’s been on over the years, she would make a size zero supermodel look like a bit of a fattie. Debbie eats’, sleeps and breath’s Pickwick – no coincidence that they’re her three favourite hobbies anyway! Debbie has done an amazing job in steering Eltham store through its’ first 4 ½ years and her loyalty to both company and customers is evident in everything she does. She treats customers like “One of our own – just like I’d want to be treated”. And Debs does. Especially the young male customers if she considers them to be “A right thigh slapper”! The poor boys leave the shop petrified.

Sam “Never looks the same” Stuart
Sam is the youngest of our three original staff (being Debbie’s daughter, gives that away!), but to be honest, is often more old biddy than the other two! By ‘old biddy’, I’m actually referring to the fact Sam dyes her hair more times than a retired old Doris living on Bournemouth seafront. It’s quite common to meet five different versions of Sam in the same week – Monday – Blonde – Tuesday – Brunette – Wednesday – Auburn…. you get the picture!

Sam has her own unique style of customer service – it’s professional and courteous and her knowledge is absolutely first class. She has a love of jewellery and has an amazing ability to inspect it without the use of an eyeglass using what can only be bionic vision. Sam spots a hallmark or other engraving on a piece of jewellery where the rest of us can barely see the object! And boy, does that girl love a promo! Some staff find promo’s hard, it’s putting you publicly out there and if the handouts we are giving out are refused, the rejection can be tough! But not Sam. As happy to dress up as Minnie or Mickey Mouse, Sam has been known to rugby-tackle passers by to shove a Pickwick “We buy gold” envelope in their terrified open mouths, whist saying “Use Pickwick – best pawn-shop in Dartford!”. And who could ever forget the best promo ever – when she without shame or concern wandered around town dressed up as a ten-pound note. Legendary. Now that’s commitment!

So, we welcome you to our first Pickwick News Feed and hope you continue to enjoy it in the future. Next edition apart from the next staff installment, we’ll tell you about some amazing offers and events we have lined up for you, our faithful customers. We mentioned earlier that the success of the business is our staff and customers. Having given a run-down on the first three staff, don’t think our customers will get away lightly! We’ll also be giving you stories of some of the hilarious incidents that customers have brought us over the years too – watch this space!

Pickwick Pawnbrokers