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Why bad news for Dickie was good news for Mackays

Published: 27 May 2015
Neil Mackay, the owner of Cambridge hardware shop Mackays, is adept at turning adversity into advertising gold - as he was able to prove yet again when disaster struck in April.
Why bad news for Dickie was good news for Mackays
The shop has its very own celebrity in Dickie, the mannequin who not only stands outside the door promoting the shop's products and offers but who is also famous for performing various stunts.

Then, some weeks ago, Dickie suffered a serious blow to his career when he was attacked and thieves made off with one of his hands. Soon afterwards, Sickie Dickie, as he was temporarily renamed, reappeared outside the shop wearing a sling.

However, says Mr Mackay - a Silver winner of the Retail Communicator of the Year category in this year's DIY Week Awards: "Every cloud has a silver lining. We tweeted about his plight and a local 3D printing company came to our rescue and offered to print him a replacement hand!

"Naturally, I couldn't quite resist the PR opportunity so I lined up the local radio, newspaper and television to run with the story. Ho hum, what fun!"

The story duly generated a raft of publicity, including two radio interviews, an interview with the local paper and a story on the BBC website.

Cambridge 3D Printing director Tom Parker, who stepped in to help, told the BBC: "I knew of the mannequin outside their shop, so thought after he lost his hand a 3D-printed replacement would be ideal, and a good bit of fun.

"I 3D-printed the hand in sections when my printer had some free machine time."

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