Macnaughtons of Pitlochry

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Macnaughtons of Pitlochry is a family-run shop dating back to 1835. With a long and

busy tourism season, selling online was never a priority, until Covid-19 forced the shop

to close. Owner Jenni Moncrieff explains how she adapted as coronavirus wiped out

her trade before the flagship shop reopened at the end of June.

 

Getting started

 

Jenni and her husband bought Macnaughtons of Pitlochry as an established business in 2003. Having owned a gist shop in Aberfeldy previously, Jenni knew suppliers and what was required to revamp the shop. Their children, Isla and Ally, both joined the business and, up until having to close at the start of lockdown, they had been growing successfully year on year.

 

Jenni says, “We had built up a strong local clientele and enjoyed being part of Pitlochry’s loyal and supportive community.”

 

 

Support

 

Macnaughtons of Pitlochry has had great support over the years from regular customers as well as tourists. Jenni also says, “We’re lucky to have a great team working with us in the shop.

 

“When lockdown happened, we realised we had to get an online presence set up quickly. GrowBiz gave us a lot of advice and support regarding marketing the website.”

 

Jenni feels it was a mistake for them not to have had a website sooner, but views setting it up as a great achievement: “ It was a steep learning curve and we had to move quickly to get it up and running. Credit must go to Isla and Ally for achieving a great online shop in such a short time.” She loves having their children on board to continue the family business. 

 

It’s been a hard few months and having to close the shop and furlough loyal staff has been really tough. But Jenni adds, “Despite all the challenges, we have been lucky to have so much local support and it’s a constant reminder of what a super community Pitlochry is. The next year will be very challenging but we are determined to work through it and make the shop successful again.”

 

 

Looking to the Future

 

The family-run business would like to focus on sustainability in terms of the suppliers they work with, to offer more environmentally-friendly products. They are also committed to trying to reduce plastic waste.

 

Although as a family they sometimes find it hard to switch off from work, Jenni recommends that any budding entrepreneurs should go for it. “If you have a strong work ethic and are prepared for to overcome hurdles and challenges, running your own business is very rewarding,” she promises. 

Visit the new online shop here.