‘We’ve had to adapt quickly, but everyone pulled together and now we are doing OK,’ Adrian explains. ‘The big challenge was how to keep customers interested in LCE with the stores closed. Although we furloughed most of the sales staff, we retained one person per branch to handle phone calls and sort out deliveries. We felt it was important customers could speak to somebody locally. The customers have been great: our online sales have increased dramatically and we’ve been getting stunning Google reviews, etc.’
Bestsellers during the lockdown include, predictably, macro lenses, mics for video calls and small tripods, but also long lenses and binoculars. ‘The weather has been good, so I suspect this is for moon shots and wildlife in the garden,’ he says. LCE also reports the second-hand business is thriving.
As for reaching out to customers, LCE has increased its social media presence significantly. ‘We ran a 21-day photo challenge on Facebook with a daily theme, which was really popular.’
LCE has also offered one-to-one advice and aired some very popular online tutorials with photographer David Newton. ‘The one he did on shooting water droplets went down very well, as nobody needed to get advanced remote flash triggers, etc. It’s still on our Facebook page.’ LCE hopes to open stores again in a small way, as soon as it can. ‘So we are getting ready for that while ensuring we keep everyone safe. Visit the company’s website page here and its Facebook page here.