A look ahead to 2016… Where you shop matters.
It’s been a tough Holiday for most in small businesses. With nearly instant gratification via Amazon, more specialty companies going Big Box, Chain Stores/Restaurants are popping up on every block, and online price shopping just clicks away on a smart phone… Shopping small is becoming a lost art. And so are the small shops and diners that depend on local shoppers.
In fact, in my small retailer FaceBook group alone… I’d say THIS YEAR there have been at least 7-8 little Brick & Mortar (exactly like ours) shops close their doors – and at least 3 more discussing how this is their make or break month. It’s becoming harder and hard to compete. And most of us are exhausted for trying.
The problem is that your local retailer – the one that took time, energy, vacation days and money to discover and educate themselves on those new items that you discovered in their cute little shop – are deeply invested in those same products. We purchase products in hopes that you will be as excited as we were finding them – that you will purchase them from us. Many of the items we stock come with insanely poor margins that many business executives would laugh off and never fathom ordering. We do this because we believe in quality… and integrity.
We take the risk. We depend upon the relationship that we have built with you and with the community that we created. Without YOU – we cannot be sustainable in the coming years.
Honestly, we are reaching our make or break moment.
We have a big retailer coming to town locally (Buy Buy Baby), and a lot depends on what they choose to stock and where our shoppers choose to shop – if we can even begin to compete. Because, let’s face it – We will never be able to buy cases of any one item to stack to the ceiling – We don’t have 15 stores to split with, nor a mega online avenue to sell world-wide – so, in turn, we will never be able to offer the same deals that they can. This is why we have been searching out great products that are ONLY available in specialty retail shops like ours (Nook Sleep Systems and nuna.eu). I believe this is because they understand the value of a dedicated and knowledgeable sales staff. They understand that a small boutique will offer their clients the TLC and support that they (and YOU) deserve.
If we don’t have a product you’re looking for – give us a chance to get it. Many companies are becoming a little more lenient with drop shop minimums – and it allows us to get some credit and still allows you to shop and support local! With so many companies doing so many new releases – we may not always be able to stock items the minute it is released, but we do try to be timely and stock as soon as possible… especially if we have 2-3 people interested. If we don’t plan on stocking an item, or we don’t have enough requests to meet a minimum – then I am happy to help you identify a small retailer that DOES have in stock – so you can shop local with a ‘neighbor’!
If you find a price online for a product that we carry… we will always do our best to price match it if we can do so sustainably. However, if you value the service, knowledge and expert advice we offer… If you value having a place that knows and cares about YOUR family… if you value having a place that the kids are safe to play while you experience the products or receive a quick demo — then give us a chance. That extra dollar or two is only going to keep the lights on – provide a neighbor with a few necessities when they are going thru a tight spot – or make sure our shop is stocked with crayons, animal crackers and peanut butter pretzels when the kids need distraction.
Better yet, shop local AND tell your friends.
Our business grows by referrals, and the BEST referrals come from YOU! Share our business card. Leave reviews on our business pages (FaceBook, Google Places, Yelp and Yahoo!) – the more people we have organically talking about our little shop – the less we have to spend on advertising and the more we can spend on products, classes and events.
What we always promise to do for YOU is to continue to offer you our full attention… superior service… expert advice and genuine love and appreciation. We also promise to only offer safe, nontoxic products and brands that are produced and sourced with integrity and that we would trust with our own family!
Needless to say, we do hope to be serving you and this community for years to come!
And in turn, we hope to see you and your friends MORE in 2016!