A new butchers shop which officially opened today (Saturday 3rd July 2010) in Stonehaven is one of three new butchers’ outlets to open in Scotland in the past six months.
Andrew Gordon’s shop on Stonehaven’s Evan Street is the third to have opened on the east coast of Scotland since the end of 2009 when Scott Brothers in Dundee opened a new shop, followed by John Davidson’s new premises in Aberdeen this spring.
This apparent renaissance of butchers’ shops in Scotland is consistent with a UK-wide trend with the number of butchers’ shops increasing over 1% to 7,084 outlets over the year.
And butchers in Scotland have a larger share of the fresh beef, lamb and pork market than their counterparts in the rest of the UK, according to Quality Meat Scotland research.
“The revival of consumer support for butchers shops appears to be in stark contrast with other independent retailers. Over the past year we have, for example, seen a dramatic decrease in the number of fishmongers, down 11%, and green grocers, down five per cent,” observed Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing with Quality Meat Scotland.
Butchers have, however, not been immune to the chill of the economic recession, Mr Vernet pointed out, and have suffered from the impact of recent aggressive supermarket promotions. “However, what we have seen is our butchers showing how resourceful they can be and using the skills of their craft – very often learned over many generations – to develop innovative new ranges for their shops. Consumers have responded well to this creativity and, coupled with the advise and appeal of trusted one-to-one interaction with customers, it seems butchers businesses are now seeing the results of their efforts,” added Mr Vernet.
And Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations, pointed out that many butchers shops have widened the range of products they sell to include ready-meals and even “whole meal solutions” including prepared vegetables, biscuits and cheese.
“There is a growing recognition that the butcher’s shop is the place to go if you want to source well prepared and caringly matured meat. Many have also developed their links with local eateries and supply them with locally reared produce which is often a real selling point for discerning gastro-pubs.
“What we are seeing our butchers successfully achieving is responding to consumer trends while retaining the valued traditional service they provide.”
Andrew Gordon added: ““This is something of a homecoming for me because I trained and worked as a butcher in Stonehaven for more than a decade and we are delighted with the response on our opening day.
“We hope that this venture will follow in the footsteps of our Aberdeen shop which has rapidly established a reputation for quality products in luxury surroundings offered by a dedicated and professional team.”