12 months on from the cashless street experiment on Beech Road, South Manchester and business continues to thrive due to the rise in card payments. The strip of shops are home to a host of independent traders who run the road’s bars, restaurants, takeaways, bakery, hairdressers, convenience store, deli, boutiques and other stores – an area long associated with innovation and being on the edge of emerging trends.

A few of the independent shops and restaurants are profiled here:

Epicerie Ludo

Ludo_Sarah Raine, manager

Epicerie Ludo is an independent grocery store and wine merchants. The shop is the brainchild of Ludovic Piot, a Frenchman who fell in love with the UK 10 years ago; he’s a wine connoisseur, food lover and a self-proclaimed Francunian (that’s French Mancunian for those not in the know)! The store brings together great food and wine from local and sustainable sources. Whether you’re looking for a bottle of bubbly for a special occasion, the ingredients for the perfect quiet night in, or packing up a picnic for the park – we have what you need.

65% of turnover comes from card payments. However in terms of transactions, 63% of the total number of transactions are made in cash as there is a £5 minimum on the card payment terminal.

One year on…

“Card payments and contactless are all part of the service. You have to open the door, give the customer every option to pay. Our biggest rise as a business has come from our bread and cheese, traditionally lower value items that people would have paid for in cash previously. However, when the customer knows they can pay by card, the amount they spend often goes up. We still officially have a minimum spend of £5 on card, but we’re much more flexible about this now than we used to be even a year ago. We rarely insist on it anymore as we like to encourage more people to use their cards – we really think it’s good for business and the numbers back that up.”

– Owner, Ludovic Piot

Horse & Jockey

Horse & Jockey

Overlooking Chorlton Green, the Horse & Jockey is a family (and dog) friendly pub. Housed in a building dating back 500 years, the pub boasts the first microbrewery in Chorlton known as the Bootleg Brewing Company who produce a selection of seasonal craft ales throughout the year. The Brewery is matched with an extensive pub menu, offering homemade food cooked from regional produce. The Jockey prides itself on being a community driven pub and invests in a programme of family events throughout the year. As such the plastic only experiment falls on their Summer Solstice, a  celebration inviting families and locals to enjoy live music, dancers and performers on the Green. On cashless day, the Jockey took 70% of its transactions on card (a rise of 10%) and doubled its average turnover for a Saturday.

Serendipitea

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Specialist teas, freshly ground coffee and handmade cakes all served up in beautiful vintage decor surroundings at Serendipitea. Payment split 66% cards to 44% cash.

The Beech Inn

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Food, music, comedy and great beer are the features of this long-standing institution of a bar. A ‘proper’ pub, it features an impressive beer garden for those long summer nights and for summer 2014, a gourmet hot dog stand in the beer garden in conjunction with neighbouring bar The Parlour – named Parlour Dogs.

Beech Road Brasserie

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Opened in January 2014, the Chorlton Green Brasserie is typical of the area – understated and quality. Its menu features great quality food made from locally produced, artisan ingredients, which are locally sourced. Chef Luke Barnes, manager Danny Shanks-Pepper and his team are open to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to customers.

Hurricane

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A shop selling beautiful little ‘I never knew I needed that’ items, gifts, flowers, lighting, clothes and jewellery. From the bright blue facade with flowers on the pavement to its wonderful interior, this is a real treasure trove of a store run by proprietor Pauline Thompson. Payment split 85% cards to 15% cash.

JB Richardson, the baker

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J. B. Richardson Bakers was formed in 1947 by James and Nellie Richardson.

Working at the company since 1975, Peter Kellett went into partnership with Colin Richardson in 1983. Colin’s father David Richardson was born at the premises in 1934 whilst his father was working for Mrs Chester the original owner. The company is now in its third generation of Richardson Bakers hands. Very new to card payments, staff are in the process of educating customers of the alternative way to pay.

One year on…

“Turnover has risen seven per cent in the past year and that’s down to the number of customers paying by card. Card payments have doubled in that time – from people paying for birthday cakes to workers coming in for their lunch. We also saw an increase since we dropped the minimum spend on the card machine. Contactless payments account for just under half of our card transactions. We came very late to card payments and in hindsight should probably have got a machine in sooner. Public habits have definitely changed and the value of card payments we take is only going to keep rising.”

– Owner, Colin Richardson

The Laundrette

The Laundrette, Jon Charles

On the site of Soap Opera, a former laundrette opened in the 1980s until 2010, The Laundrette is a new addition to Beech Road’s mix.  The interior design remains true to the site’s industrial past, with exposed brickwalls and rustic woodwork creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for long, cocktail fueled evenings. The large outdoor dining area provides the perfect spot for afternoons with the family. Cards 95% cash 5%.

C & W Etchell’s

 

Local newsagent C & W Etchell’s has been operating since the 1960s and offers a wide range of newspapers, magazines and sundries. They are now processing two per cent more card payments than a year ago, but have seen the value of these transactions increase by six per cent following the Cashless Street experiment.

One year on…

“We’ve seen the value of card transactions year-on-year increase by six per cent. As a result, we are considering a reduction of our minimum spend and looking at contactless options as last year’s figures have proven the demand. Cash back transactions only account for about 40 per cent of card payments each month, which goes to show that people are turning to card, not just for cashback but because they simply find it the most convenient way to pay. It’s something we pay great attention to because the payment landscape is changing all the time and we need to make sure we’re providing the best options for our customers, in order to keep them coming back.”

– Owner, Craig Etchell