Equestrian Blog - Behind the Scenes News and thoughts from around the equestrian community http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/ http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification BlogEngine.NET en-US http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/opml.axd http://www.dotnetblogengine.net/syndication.axd My name Equestrian Blog 0.000000 0.000000 Let the bargain hunting begin - Thursday 20th August! <p><strong>Our Online and Instore End of Season Sale starts at 9am, Thursday 20th August. </strong> We&rsquo;ve not been shy with our mark downs, so there&rsquo;s bound to be something in the sale section that you&rsquo;ve had your eye on for a while, or something that&rsquo;s simply too good a bargain to turn down. As usual in a sale, stock on some of the items is limited so be quick, as these bargains are going to sell out fast! There are discounts across all categories and I've managed to have a sneak peak at the price reductions and can see that selected products have had their prices slashed by up to 70%! For those of you who prefer to handle your bargains before you buy them, our Instore Sale is for you. At Ashton, Basingstoke, Cannock and our new Leeds Megastore, you&rsquo;ll be able to grab a bargain from 9am until 8pm on Thurs 20th August. Our Cardiff store will be open at 9am but will close a little earlier, at 5.30pm. If you are planning a visit to any of our stores during the Sale, here&rsquo;s a quick guide to each store, their contact details and their opening hours.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/ashton">Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/cannock">Cannock, Staffordshire</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/basingstoke">Basingstoke, Hampshire</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/cardiff">Radyr nr Cardiff, Glamorgan</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/leeds-megastore/">Leeds</a></li> </ul> http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/let-the-bargain-hunting-begin-thursday-20th-august http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/let-the-bargain-hunting-begin-thursday-20th-august#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=428bea8d-a1d9-4ae7-ab78-0c11262d4b12 Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:27:00 +0000 Behind the Scenes News robi-admin http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/pingback.axd http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=428bea8d-a1d9-4ae7-ab78-0c11262d4b12 0 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/trackback.axd?id=428bea8d-a1d9-4ae7-ab78-0c11262d4b12 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/let-the-bargain-hunting-begin-thursday-20th-august#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/syndication.axd?post=428bea8d-a1d9-4ae7-ab78-0c11262d4b12 Our Leeds Store Will Open… …As Soon As We Announce It! <p>Since we announced an intention to open our fifth store in Hunslet, Leeds, we've been inundated with questions about when it'll open. I guess that's not surprising but it's still great to see how warmly we're being welcomed by the local equestrian community. While we've needed a few weeks to turn two bare, empty units into a stunning 15,000 sq ft store, we're very keen not to disappoint all those who can't wait to visit by making our opening any later than we absolutely have to. The fact that we're in December has only added to the pressure with Christmas shopping plans understandably the reason behind many of the queries &ndash; although I can guarantee that it will be before Christmas! What's our 'opening date' going to be, then? The best answer I can give is this: "as soon as possible". Not only is that the truth, it also handily removes the problem of having a given date known about well in advance. Why is that a problem? Well, rewind to November 2003, the day that our Ashton store re-opened following a year of re-build after <a title="Robinsons: History" href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/history">our 2002 fire</a>. We rather inadvisably chose to make our opening date a Sunday, where trading hours are restricted to just six hours, and simply let it be known what date it would be a few weeks in advance. We didn't spend any money advertising it and there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking sites, back then. What happened that day involved thousands of people, an ambulance, a police helicopter and literally dozens of technical parking offences &ndash; and it all came about just from word of mouth. I won't go into it in depth because <a title="Rob-Blog: The Perils of Success" href="http://bit.ly/Ashton2003">I've blogged about it before</a> but it's fair to say that that experience has made us very sensitive to what can happen when dealing with huge levels of expectation. Of course it's lovely to be at the centre of it and we certainly appreciate the attention but it's also necessary for us to be responsible and avoid problems and poor experiences, when we have already learned the lesson. Today, social media is vital to our communications. Every day, we try our hardest to gain the most clicks and the greatest level of engagement we can. With things like store openings, I have to be honest: social media scares me a little. We've all heard the stories about what can happen when, for example, a teenager's parents are spending a weekend away; the teenager in question arranges a bit if a party because, well, their parents aren't there to stop them. Before you know it, the whole thing's gone viral and the police are being called to remove eight hundred rioting revellers from a sleepy cul-de-sac. Of course we'd like as many people as possible to visit our new Leeds store, when it opens &ndash; but I'd hate for any of them to regret being there. Here's the deal, then: we won't have an official 'opening date', we'll just tell you when we've opened. If you follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook, that's where we'll announce it first. If you're a recipient of our emails, I'm sure you'll notice it appearing on the odd email too. I promise there'll be no celebrity cutting a ribbon (been there, done that &ndash; with Milton in 1997*) that you might feel aggrieved about missing out on, just a brand new shop with a fantastic new team of staff and a regular amount of other shoppers to make your visit as pleasant as possible. I know anticipation and novelty are great ways to build awareness and hype but it doesn't last and it actually counts for very little if we then find it harder to tempt you back to our Leeds store in the future - when all the attention has moved to where (and when) the sixth <a title="Robinsons: Homepage" href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com">Robinsons</a> store will be opening&hellip; I hope this all sounds sensible to you. Thanks, Paul * Milton? &nbsp;Cutting a ribbon? &nbsp;Here's the proof (we used a carrot): <a href="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=Milton-opens-feedstore.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-3842" title="Milton opens feedstore" src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=Milton-opens-feedstore.jpg" alt="" width="437" height="292" /></a></p> http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/leeds-opening-date http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/leeds-opening-date#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=22cd01e1-8e73-4413-bdeb-277c70464820 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:33:00 +0000 Behind the Scenes robi-admin http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/pingback.axd http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=22cd01e1-8e73-4413-bdeb-277c70464820 0 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/trackback.axd?id=22cd01e1-8e73-4413-bdeb-277c70464820 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/leeds-opening-date#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/syndication.axd?post=22cd01e1-8e73-4413-bdeb-277c70464820 The Robinsons Logo: 147 Years of Evolution <p style="text-align: justify;">Have you seen our <a title="Rob-Blog: A New Logo for a New Era" href="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/a-new-logo-for-a-new-era/">new logo</a>? What do you think? It's designed with the future in mind but we hope you'll agree, it has elements which remain firmly rooted in our past. I appreciate that may not mean much to many of our younger customers but to Marketing bores like me, 'heritage' and other rather pretentious-sounding terms like 'brand value' are quite a big deal, especially when there are changes in the air. We felt it was important to establish some sort of continuity where we could without compromising the change of direction we wanted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So if, like me, you've been around for more of our <a title="Robinsons: History" href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/history">147-year history</a> than you'd care to admit, here's a reminder of the way our logo has evolved over the years. If you're too young for all that &ndash; or too new to Robinsons, here's a brief history lesson about us:</p> <p><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson1.png" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">'Robinsons Saddlery' was the name, written in various 'old-style' typefaces from 1867 to around 1980. Tradition was the order of the day, even in the 1970s, both in describing ourselves as a 'Saddlery' - when even then, our range extended well beyond leatherwork - and in the typography we used. We weren't alone: most of our competitors portrayed themselves in exactly the same way, back then &ndash; and some still do!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="alignnone" src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson2.png" alt="" width="247" height="99" /><img class="alignleft" src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson3.png" alt="" width="249" height="103" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For a short time in the early 1980s (around the time we opened the UK's first equestrian superstore at Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan), we dropped the out-dated 'Saddlery' term and billed our offering as 'Equestrian &amp; Country Sports', which proved a little too 'wordy'. Soon after, we refined it to the more succinct 'Country Leisure' and incorporated it into our new oval logo. We'd been using a red stripe on our show unit for many years so red seemed the obvious colour for us to choose.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With our mail order service in its infancy, we decided to stop doing the show circuit and concentrate on the power of our catalogue to make our name. Suddenly there was no reason to stick with red, which mainly differentiated us from the competitors pitched nearby. There was little or no competition in the catalogue world so in the late 1980s, we decided to go for a colour that reflected 'Country Leisure' more obviously: green.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson5.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At the dawn of the new millennium, we felt that we needed to update our increasingly staid and 'boxy'-looking logo. Internet use was taking off and, being at the forefront of <a title="Robinsons: Home" href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com">equestrian web shopping</a>, we needed to look more current and up-to-date than ever. We kept the green, reinstated the oval but went for funkier lower case typography and a subtle horseshoe to show our equestrian pedigree. The white crescent 'smile' was 'borrowed' from other companies like Argos, Amazon and Tui after we read an article that suggested it helped add a positive vibe.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=111114_1501_TheRobinson6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So, after numerous changes throughout our 147-year history, we think we've arrived at something that sums us up as neatly and concisely as possible. Something which fits on a web page, a shopping bag, a staff uniform and everywhere else we'll need it to appear and something that carries on the spirit of the Robinsons name as we approach our 150<sup>th</sup> year!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a fast-moving world where attention spans are shorter than ever, this logo tells you at a single glance who we are, what we do and where we can be found. Like the horse on the logo, we feel we're also galloping forward into the future, full of confidence!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/the-robinsons-logo-147-years-of-evolution http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/the-robinsons-logo-147-years-of-evolution#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=d601b5c8-4bdd-4eb1-b932-15efd1c9e3c5 Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:01:00 +0000 Behind the Scenes robi-admin http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/pingback.axd http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=d601b5c8-4bdd-4eb1-b932-15efd1c9e3c5 0 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/trackback.axd?id=d601b5c8-4bdd-4eb1-b932-15efd1c9e3c5 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/the-robinsons-logo-147-years-of-evolution#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/syndication.axd?post=d601b5c8-4bdd-4eb1-b932-15efd1c9e3c5 Where Should We Open Our Next Store? <p style="text-align: justify;">From Edinburgh to Cornwall and everywhere in between, wherever I've spoken to customers at shows and events over the years, I've been asked this question time and again: "When are you going to open a store in [insert a place name]?"</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="alignright" style="margin: 6px;" src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=062514_1348_WhereShould1.jpg" alt="" width="290" height="290" align="right" />Every time it happens, I have two equal and opposite reactions. Of course, it's an incredible compliment to be asked to open a store anywhere – for a retailer, that's an even more sincere form of flattery than imitation. On the other hand, whenever we have no plans, I always hate to deflate that goodwill so it frustrates me as much as the person asking when I have to say something enigmatic like 'well, you never know'...</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The truth is it's a massively difficult undertaking for us to find the right building, in the right area, with the right costs, with the right planning conditions etc. etc. etc. When we've done it in the past, we've been able to get everything right and of course, it's hugely beneficial to us. We love being a part of the equestrian communities of <a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/basingstoke">Hampshire</a>, <a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/cannock">Staffordshire</a> and <a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/cardiff">Glamorgan</a>, as well as in our 'home' <a href="http://www.robinsonsequestrian.com/ashton">in the North West</a> - and we'd love to add to that list.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This time we're asking for your help – and I'm delighted to say we've already had plenty of it! In early June, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=715554498504309">we posted this very question</a> on our Facebook page and within 24 hours, it attracted over a thousand responses! Yet more people sent their suggestions to us via twitter and by email. I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to share their view – even the mischievous ones like 'Australia' and, my own favourite, 'Wigan'. I hope you were being ironic, Roxanne! <span style="font-family: Wingdings;">J</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As you might imagine, some areas seem to be suggested more often than others. Unfortunately, it may not be as simple as just pitching up in the area that is suggested the most often – we still have to go through the rather bothersome process of finding a site that suits our requirements. It does however mean that we start our searches in the places we're more convinced will prove to be successful.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I'm also conscious of the 'monster' of expectation we might have unleashed by doing this. Again, we're hugely grateful to have so much goodwill and interest that are behind any further questions like 'so go on then, where is it?' – believe me, they've already started. I'm not sure how quickly we'll be able to confirm anything and I'm quite sure that even when we are, the area we choose will only be good news to a small proportion of the country. Either way, all I can ask is that you don't lose patience with us.  We'd like to start looking for another store location as soon as we've decided the next one!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So far, almost two thousand people have given their answer to 'that' question and between them, those answers cover almost the whole country. Believe me - and I'm not at all being enigmatic when I say this - that's exactly what we want to do as well!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks for reading and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Robinsons.Horsebook">stay tuned to our Facebook page</a> to find out the very latest on our search for the fifth Robinsons store!</p> http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/where-should-we-open-our-next-store http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/where-should-we-open-our-next-store#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=10fce6dc-e9fd-4c9f-8578-34bae4c72da3 Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:48:50 +0000 Behind the Scenes paul.bentham@robinsons-uk.com http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/pingback.axd http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=10fce6dc-e9fd-4c9f-8578-34bae4c72da3 0 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/trackback.axd?id=10fce6dc-e9fd-4c9f-8578-34bae4c72da3 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/where-should-we-open-our-next-store#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/syndication.axd?post=10fce6dc-e9fd-4c9f-8578-34bae4c72da3 In Pics: The ‘Horse’ Photo-shoot for the Autumn/Winter 2013 Catalogue <span style="color: black;">The schools may not have even broken up for summer but to us, it's that time when we have to get cracking with our Autumn/Winter catalogue production - and one of the most important bits to get done quickly is the photography! </span><br><br><span style="color: black;">Our winter catalogue photography has always had to take place in the middle of summer and, this being Britain, we never really know what the weather will be like until the day of the shoot. Occasionally, it can be difficult to convey the suitability of a product designed for cold temperatures when it's anything but cold but on a more basic level, any photographer will prefer bright conditions over a dull day – and if it rains, it just makes things even worse. </span><br><br><span style="color: black;">This year, we were blessed with bright sunshine for the shoot of all our new horse-modelled items. We still have some left to do, especially model photography for the 'human' range. Usually, that tends to be a bit smoother than working with horses (but not always!) so what follows is traditionally one of the most unpredictable days of the year. Here's a photographic record of the day, behind the scenes. Enjoy! </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH1.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">8:30        The venue is prepared in accordance with the brief and the requirements of the product which need capturing, for example Stable areas to be cleaned if the photo-shoot involves stable rugs or field is cut if the photo-shoot involves turnout rugs. Meanwhile, the horses are prepared before they leave their home in St. Helens for the 20 mile trip north to the shoot location in Wigan. Ben (bay) and Oakley (coloured) will be this season's stars of the show. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH2.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">8:30        The buyer arrives first to co-ordinate the receipt of the product and samples which are being photographed. She provides a running order and details of product codes and specific photographic requirements for each item. The product also arrives at the shoot location having been delivered by a member of our warehouse team. Various items are placed in the relevant areas of the shoot location to avoid double handling. </span><br><br><span style="color: black;">9:00        The photographer arrives (no self-portrait taken, unsurprisingly!) and is given a run down for the day including the products being photographed, the number of horse or ponies, running order and additional specific requirements. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH3.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">9:30        The first two horses (Ben and Oakley) arrive and are raring to go. Different requirements require different horses and today's models are scheduled to arrive at different times in the day to avoid people and horses being stood around unnecessarily. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH4.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">10:00     The photo-shoot starts and the products are quickly ticked off the list as the camera starts to capturing the stable and close up images we require. This is Ben. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH5.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">11:00     We start to alternate horses, in line with the running order, but in the knowledge that they simply start getting bored if they just stand round for too long. This is Oakley. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH6.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">11:40    It's not exactly glamorous work but any photo-shoot is likely to attract attention, especially from the neighbours! This is Poppy. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH7.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">12:00     We all take a break – Cup of tea and a net of hay!! </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH8.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> <img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH9.jpg" alt="" /> </span> <span style="color: black;">12:30     The next horse arrives, he's called Henry – he's only small but has a big attitude. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH10.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">12:45     We quickly get the few shots we require of Henry and tick some more products off our list. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH11.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">1:00        We get some interesting, non-product images of Henry and Ben to use as stock photos before Henry heads off home. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH12.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">1:45        The real fun starts as Ben is readied for the final few product shots. These involve him running through the field and it can take up to 15 minutes just to get the one image you need of each rug. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH13.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">2:30        We have everything we need - Ben was a superstar, again. We take his rug off and let him and Oakley relax and enjoy a bit of time together grazing and playing around. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH14.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">3:00        That's it for the day. We get a quick picture of everyone who helped today. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH15.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> <img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH16.jpg" alt="" /> </span> <span style="color: black;">3:15        Time to get the horses home. Ben and Oakley are loaded up, with a lot less fuss than Henry was! We ensured that the day wasn't too long for them, even if that means that we have to do additional days of photography. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH17.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">3:30        The wagon leaves and the boys will be back in their own fields within the hour. </span><br><br><img src="http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/image.axd?picture=071713_1335_InPicsTheH18.jpg" alt="" /><span style="color: black;"> </span> <span style="color: black;">3:45        Next, our own transport turns up to collect the product and take it back to HQ. We're that bit closer to getting the catalogue ready to send to you later this year! </span> http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/in-pics-horse-photo-shoot-for-the-autumnwinter-2013-catalogue http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/in-pics-horse-photo-shoot-for-the-autumnwinter-2013-catalogue#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=0f47d21f-c998-4bde-9040-53bbabe06bf4 Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:35:40 +0000 Behind the Scenes paul.bentham@robinsons-uk.com http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/pingback.axd http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post.aspx?id=0f47d21f-c998-4bde-9040-53bbabe06bf4 0 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/trackback.axd?id=0f47d21f-c998-4bde-9040-53bbabe06bf4 http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/post/in-pics-horse-photo-shoot-for-the-autumnwinter-2013-catalogue#comment http://blog.robinsonsequestrian.com/syndication.axd?post=0f47d21f-c998-4bde-9040-53bbabe06bf4 Equestrian Blog | Error

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News and thoughts from around the equestrian community