What's Your Secret?

Every season we will introduce you to one of our retailers with
exeptional stores. This season, the retailer is Alinda, owner of Luv, a
book & gift shop in Spakenburg. Luv is a huge seller of Bridgewater
home fragrance products, so we stopped by and asked her:
“What’s your secret?”

Reading (what else!), walking in the outdoors, going out with friends, good food and shopping.
How it began

Alinda worked for broadcasting company RTL4 and was looking for a new challenge when she stumbled upon a book shop that was for sale. She seized the opportunity and bought it. Then she stamped her own style on it, made it more accessible and introduced a delightful panache. Ably assisted by the team that she has put together and with her father’s entrepreneurial spirit to fall back on, Alinda has clearly succeeded!


The reason behind her success
It is essential to ‘know your customers’, not least their names, the books they like and the home fragrances they buy. For Alinda, it’s all about community, passion and purpose. She and her team have made the shop into something akin to a village square that allows people to meet and catch up. There is a special vibe, helped by the ‘small town’ character of the store and team members who express genuine interest in each customer and share a lively curiosity about the occupants of every pushchair.

Alinda feels that shops must constantly update their inventory as customers like to be surprised by new books, home fragrances and gifts. She therefore hosts a biannual ‘LUV Bazar’, a sale of older stock to make room (both financially and physically) for the latest collections. LUV also organises charity nature walks for customers, which frequently attract a 150-strong group of people who venture into the great outdoors.

Huge seller of Bridgewater home fragrances
The LUV team is incredibly enthusiastic about Bridgewater products. This certainly helps boost sales. There are cheaper alternatives on the market, but Alinda feels that in the end people just want the best. And her customers clearly agree: it turns out that LUV – a book shop, mind you – sells more Bridgewater sachets, candles and other products than many garden centres.

This is even more impressive when you consider that the shop has just one rotating display stand next to the cash register and a single product display cabinet. How do they pull it off? Timely ordering, the team’s undivided enthusiasm and the inclusion of Bridgewater products in their popular gift sets. The Bridgewater quality makes for both happy customers and a happy business owner.


In February 2016, Alinda decided to change the name of her store from Het Baken (The Beacon) to LUV. Why this name? A survey among her customers and team showed that for them ‘love’ is the key word which everything revolves around. Although the name change entailed a lot of work, it also gave Alinda a huge shot of positive energy. And it paid off: she now has a line of LUV greeting cards, and the first LUV diary is being printed as we speak.
Tips for fellow shopkeepers
Know your customer, share your enthusiasm, stay focused and make use of new media channels. Last year, Alinda hired a young, sassy designer to manage the LUV website and social media content.


Alinda’s Social media favourites
happymakersblog, thuisinstyling, flow, vtwonen, happinez, zilverblauw, dilleenkamille, margoslingerland, krijtbord, Lindamagazine, Loods5


Check out the Luv website!



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