Wednesday , 23 April 2014

Retail reality check

Last month, two independent stores I admired very much announced they are closing their doors. These were talented, passionate retailers with an abundance of experience and good karma.

This was a hard reality check for me. Retail is a tough business (especially this year), but we’re pretty fierce optimists around here. To realize that even a great store (or two) can fail… well, it left me without my customary silver lining. In the absence of optimism, there is action — what can we do to buck this trend?

I believe we can do it. But it starts with an important question. What can we do to make our shopping experience so good that you wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else? We ponder this almost every day, brainstorming answers around our bean-shaped conference table (really). But now we want you to join the conversation.

We are so lucky to have amazingly supportive customers. Thanks to you, we have been able to keep growing our little company, even during very difficult economic times. But my lesson from last month is that no one is immune to failure. We have to be at the top of our game to continue to earn the kind of loyalty that leads you to shop often and spread the word.

Take our survey and tell us (honestly, please) what we can do to make shopping in our stores as irresistibly fun and convenient as possible. The stakes are high, and our ears are wide open. If you fill out the survey between now and November 16th we’ll give you a coupon for $10 off your next purchase (of $25 or more) to say thanks for your help.

On a related note, this Saturday is Neighborhood Toy Store Day, a celebration of specialty toy stores all over the country. As part of the festivities, we’ll have some great demonstrations and discounts in our stores. I could go on and on about why it’s essential to support your local toy store, but Lisa Martin, a blogger from Chicago wrote a great post this week that basically says it all.

Thanks for reading and for supporting us and other businesses like ours.

3 comments

  1. Out of curiosity, which two independent stores are closing?

  2. Hi Lorita. The two stores I’m referring to in this article are Goore’s, a baby store in Sacramento, CA and Belmont Toys in Belmont, MA.

  3. Thanks for the response! That’s unfortunate to hear. Just YOU don’t go anywhere, deal?

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