A shop which describes itself a veritable ‘Aladdin’s Cave for everything DIY’ is the proud winner of this week’s Trader of the Week.  Dodgson’s of Dorchester, a shop in South Street, which prides itself on good, old-fashioned customer service, has been there for customers throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Dorset Echo:

Remaining open as an essential shop, proprietor Glenn House set up a ‘counter’ and a screen across the shop door to keep his customers safe. Shoppers have been approaching Glenn from a safe distance and explaining their DIY needs. Glenn then fetches whatever they need from inside the shop.

Dorset Echo:

Glenn said: “With the current pandemic it is important to support all of the traders in town, especially as more shops are allowed to open their doors once again.  “Although I was one of the lucky ones being allowed to open as an essential retailer, we’ve all got a lot of catching up to do. There are so many independent retailers in Dorchester, it’s what makes the town unique, and we all need people to visit us and try to get back to some kind of normality, whilst supporting the businesses of Dorchester.”

The business was opened in 1961 by Tony Dodgson and his father. Glenn started working for Tony in 1980 and then bought the business from him in 2005.

Dorset Echo:

Glenn said what makes his business unique is the ‘vast range’ of products he keeps in stock. Step inside his Aladdin’s Cave and you’ll be met with a smorgasbord of paint; hardware; timber; household goods; step ladders; electrical fittings; rotary airers; plumbing; hand tools and power tools; decorating goods; vacuum bags and light bulbs.

“We’re always willing to obtain items that other shops aren’t able to order. We probably already keep the item in stock anyway, so why not come to us first and see if we have it. ‘Use us or lose us’, as the saying goes,” he says.

The shop is known in town for having knowledgeable staff, Glenn says, who will probably have already tackled the jobs customers are facing.  He said: “Customers normally bring a list and we are well known for ‘fetching’ everything on their list, whilst they relax at the counter.”

Glenn says if he were a customer in his own shop he would buy biodegradable food bags ‘a necessity in our house’ and Hob Brite, ‘to keep the cooker sparkling clean’.

It was a delight to become the Dorset Echo’s Trader of the Week, Glenn said. “Sometimes you do your job, but don’t realise how much of an effect you have upon people’s shopping, so to be nominated is a great honour. It makes it worth the effort that we put in.”

We want to hear from any other traders who feel they stand out from the crowd.

Nominate yourself to be the Dorset Echo's Trader of the Week here.