RETAILERS at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet have been improving their customer service – by learning Japanese.

The Selling to Japanese Customers course, which is run by Cheshire Oaks Retail Academy (CORA), has become the most subscribed to at the outlet as retailers try to tap into the ever-increasing number of Japanese visitors each year.

One trainee to benefit from the course is John Roberts, who is assistant manager at the outlet’s Fred Perry store.

He said: “We get a large number of Japanese and Chinese customers visiting the outlet on a regular basis and prior to completing the course I was unsure of how to interact with them.

“The course has enabled me to not only learn the language but also learn about the culture and shopping habits of the country, which has been invaluable for me and my team.

“We’re now implementing changes into the way we approach and engage with Japanese customers that’s respectful of the culture and will improve their shopping experience at the outlet.”

Mike Power, development manager for CORA, added: “We always strive to create relevant and useful courses that provide transferable skills for the retail environment.

“Understanding both the language and culture of the Japanese people is bringing direct business benefits to retailers across the outlet.”

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