A Hume

A Hume
Looking Back on 2012

Looking Back on 2012

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‘A guid New Year to ane an’ a’ and mony may ye see’


Archie Hume at 22 Horsemarket, Kelso.

Archie Hume at the new shop, 22 Horsemarket, Kelso.


I’m sure someone must have uttered this favoured Hogmanay toast last year in the 1st minutes of 2012, it seems probable and more likely than not, but if they did it wafted past me with the Angel’s Share. Only with hindsight and the benefit of another twelve months under my belt can I see how prophetic it was. It has been a good year – a belter of a year. One of the best, yet.


Some of the changes were planned for, strategic goals that were plotted out and arrived at as a result of hard graft, clever planning, creative thinking and the occasional leap into the unknown.


We wanted a mobile e-commerce platform for A Hume so we could offer the very best service to our customers. Our product offering may have a traditional flavour but we want our technology to be state of the art. In October our Smartphone version of the site went live and now we receive a growing percentage of orders in this way.


We also wanted to engage more with social media, to celebrate the lifestyle we and so many of our customers enjoy and we toyed with the idea of a blog. But it needed to be right, nothing is more dismal than navigating to a promising page only to find a blog with a couple of posts that has withered and died faster than a bunch of forecourt flowers. We hope that with the A Hume blog we’ve done a wee bit better than this and we’d like to thank all the people who’ve contributed to it and been featured in everlasting, virtual ink. Thank you.


Our Facebook following has grown and in November we celebrated our 1,000th follower. Julie Davis was the lucky winner of our celebratory prize draws and received a pair of fine Dubarry boots.


At first it’s tricky to see the point in a Facebook page and blog but as a company we’ve been drawn into the fray and only then does the reasoning ring clear as a bell. If someone comes into the shop I talk to them, I am famously fond of a gibber – it’s what I do, and I’m told it’s part of my charm (please could someone tell Karen this). Hopefully it makes shopping at A Hume enjoyable, a better experience, people feel I know them and know what they want. With the online social stuff it’s exactly the same, it’s all just friendly banter and chat.


These were developments we planned for, objectives we set and met, but there were other exciting landmarks we couldn’t have predicted.


Karen and Archie Hume with James Abbott at the sbbea

Karen and Archie Hume with Marketing and Business Development Manager, James Abbott at the Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards.


In March 2012, to the huge elation of the entire team we won the SBBEA Award for Retailer and Town Centre Business of the Year. A feather in our cap for all at A Hume and a just reward for the blood, sweat and tears.


We went home happy that day thinking our year had peaked. Then, out of the blue the opportunity arose to expand in a way we couldn’t have foreseen. As if by magic – magic, and more blood, sweat and tears – we became a multiple outlet retail concern; does two shops count as a multiple?


Our second shop at 22 Horsemarket has allowed us to expand our range of impeccably made Loake shoes and carry esteemed brands like Schoffel.


Archie Hume and Hugh Lightbody

Archie Hume and Business Gateway Chief Executive Hugh Lightbody at the Herald Scottish Family Business Awards 2012.


But, the merry-go-round doesn’t stop there, we’ve kept on spinning right into December, faster and faster, arriving at the Herald Family Business Awards hopeful but certainly flabbergasted – there’s a word we don’t see often enough – to walk away with two prestigious awards: winner of Fastest Growing Scottish Family Business of the Year and Winner of the Scottish Family Business of the Year (up to 100 employees).


The only greater accolade we’ve won is the approval of our customers, and the enormous numbers of new and loyal customers who’ve supported us through 2012 tells us more than any awards that we’re doing something right.


We end 2012 on a high, tired but happy. Hoping we can sustain the momentum for 2013; to continue our journey onwards and upwards.


It only remains to make a toast to the year ahead and if last year’s toast served us well, it might be equally fitting for 2013.


‘A guid New Year to ane an’ a’ and mony may ye see’


– Archie Hume, 31st December 2012.