Kirsty joined Regis in June 2015 as an Assistant Mutual Manager. In 2019 Kirsty was appointed as Mutual Manager of The Retail Mutual with the task to deliver its ambitious growth plans and maintaining its vision to provide a one stop shop for independent retails.
Tell us more at The Retail Mutual?
The Retail Mutual exists to protect independent retailers in their time of need. It offers Members peace of mind, high-quality cover and a quick-and-easy claims handling service. Its mission is to become a one-stop-shop for the diverse cover needs of retailers all over the UK; from pubs to post offices, confectioners to clothes shops, farm shops to florists, and many more in between.
What is a Mutual?
A Mutual is an alternative to traditional insurance products and services. Member pools their risk into a central contribution pot which is used to pay claims. Contributions are also used to buy the insurance which protects the Mutual and its Members.
Who is The Retail Mutual designed for?
The Mutual started life as the NFRN Mutual, specifically designed to support newsagents. The NFRN Mutual has been proudly supporting its members for over 20 years, becoming a first port of call for many high-street news retailers looking for competitive business, home and landlord cover.
With the retail landscape constantly changing the Mutual needed to evolve. Building on its heritage, it has embarked on an exciting growth plan to expand its membership and product offerings to a wider range of independent retailers.
To support its growth strategy and broadened focus, it adopted a new trading name – The Retail Mutual. This new brand identity reflected its position at the heart of the high street, supporting independent retailers from a wider range of sectors whilst remaining committed to its core Membership of newsagents and convenience store owners.
What are the benefits of The Retail Mutual?
The team working on the Mutual are constantly honing its products and services, it is dedicated to meeting both the current and future needs of its Members. Since managing the Mutual we have launched a range of products for independent retailers, this has included critical illness cover, health cash plan and access surgery health cover.
The Retail Mutual is controlled by the Members this means that any mutual trading surplus belong to the Members of the Mutual and must be used for the benefit of Members or as the Members may agree. The Mutual also has the capacity to consider discretionary claims payments that might not be covered in the policy wordings.
The Mutual has such a strong community ethos that that sets us apart from traditional insurance products and services; our Members are independent, but they are not alone.
How does The Retail Mutual listen to its Members?
Members are at the heart of every Mutual. We listen to our Members through feedback surveys, our AGM and customer satisfaction scores. Our Board of Directors are all Members of the Mutual themselves and have first-hand experience of working within the retail sector.
This customer insight has meant we are able to refine the products and services that we offer such as, weekly payment plans, interest free loans and no cancellation charges.
What is the future of The Retail Mutual?
The high street is extremely difficult trading circumstances, recent data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and high street analysts the Local Data Company (LDC) shows about 16 stores closed their doors every day in the first half of 2019 while only nine opened, resulting in a net decline of 1,234 chain stores on Britain’s top 500 high streets. Retailers are facing tough trading circumstances, and as they evolve their customer propositions to meet these challenges, the Mutual will continue to support all our Members and the high street. We will constantly look for ways to make life easier and safer for retailers, in fact, next year we will be launching a new quote and buy service making it simpler and quicker to purchase cover. We will continue to look at products that support the shops and those working in the shops. The future of The Retail Mutual is challenging yet exciting and positive.
For more information on The Retail Mutual visit www.theretailmutual.co.uk.