Pevensey Bay Journal
Edition 22: Saturday 27 October 2018
Now available in local newsagents, priced forty pence
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Bay Life and Times for the Digital Age
In the second in a series of interviews with local business owners, we talk to Nina Over from Pevensey Bay Car Centre about the story of the location that has gone from a fuel station to a business with rear window stickers across the country.
NINA OVER: From a fuel station to rear window stickers across the country
How did the Pevensey Bay Car Centre start, looks very much like you are deeply embedded in the community, was there a family connection?
Our premises was acquired in 1983 as another acquisition of the family owned Westfield Garage Group originating in Westfield, progressing to Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill.
Has Pevensey Bay Car Centre been through lots of changes, seems so much has changed since the eighties, how has the business adapted so successfully?
The site was primarily a fuel station and some forecourt retail space for motorboats and vehicles. Shortly after we purchased the property, Asda and its fuel station were built at the Crumbles Retail Park. This did us a huge favour as we were able to relinquish the fuel and turn the building into solely a retail site and thus Pevensey Bay Car Centre was developed. Over the years the site has been improved and expanded and is now known as one of the leading independent Used Car Sales dealers in Sussex.
3. Speak do not shout
When you walk past the car centre, there is a nice feel, the business does not shout, simply speaks to local people and visitors, is that a deliberate pitch or simply the result of the space and location offering that lovely display?
We are very fortunate to have a prime location on a major road and very proud to be able to not only promote our business but the name of the Village for all to see. It all helps to put Pevensey Bay on the map!
4. Relaxed style
People say that the relaxed style is also prominent. When they ask questions they get amiable answers. We have seen that ourselves, looks very much like there is no pressure selling, this must take time and thinking, do you train new staff or fit what needs to be done into key criteria and monitor the success?
Pevensey Bay is a holiday destination and a very welcoming and friendly village so this is all part of our motivation, to present our stock so that customers can freely view without any unwanted pressure. With this in mind we feel it important to demonstrate to our staff these values; we love our customers to browse and we like to speak to them so that they don’t feel ignored. Our aim is to welcome new and repeat customers and make the sales process, transparent and stress free
5. Embedded in community
You have talked about how much the car centre is embedded in working with the community and clearly that is the case, have you been involved in some fund raising and support for local campaigns?
Time permitting we like to get involved with the Village and over the years we have supported many various events. From football tournaments to fetes. Recently we raised money for St Wilfred’s Hospice, donating to Pevensey and Westham Primary School fetes and Norman’s Bay Summer Fayre. We appreciate the amount of work carried out in the community by so many people to make Pevensey Bay a happy place to be.
Hard running any business, particularly when there is so much change and in such a small rural location by the sea, that must have meant some big decision making, what was the most difficult moment with the business and how did the Pevensey Bay Car Centre deal with the business challenge?
Although Pevensey Bay is a relatively small village, half of which is surrounded by the sea, as a business we have always tried to think big. In 2002 we took the decision to promote our vehicles on the internet with Autopromoter / Spidersnet which was a new marketing concept designed purely for the Motor Industry, this was a defining moment in our Company history as we were able to offer our stock all over the country. Since then we have never looked back and now we receive enquires from Scotland, England and Wales. So nowadays those Pevensey Bay Car Centre rear window stickers can be seen all over the country.
7. Winning line
Might be accurate to say that Pevensey Bay Car Centre has got essence of Pevensey Bay written right through the business, must make you mighty proud. If you could pick an early moment as the business grew that you stepped back and said, yep, this really works, what was that moment, when did you know that you had a winner
In any business it is inadvisable to sit back therefore we try to progress forward by listening to our customers, improving our sales approach and constantly reviewing our marketing so that we can reach customers and bring them to our site.
Pevensey Bay Car Centre
Our philosophy is simple, to supply cars that are affordable, the best quality and that appeal to all