A wonderful new shop opened up… and closed… last week in Beverly, MA. But don’t worry… it will be opening and closing… again in the same place next month and for many months to come! Pam Jaynes new business, Indigo Blu Trading Company, is creating excitement, drama and a real sense of competitive shopping urgency with her new retail concept. Every month she and some local friends /artisans bring a 100% fresh, home-décor, pop-up store into their permanent address — for 5 fantastic days!
Pam, the owner of a boutique called Zinnia in this same location for 11 years, wanted to try something totally new. She wanted a change in her own day to day work-life. She wanted to create a dynamic shopping opportunity for her customers. And, she wanted to exercise some creativity! By George, I think she did it.
This month’s focus for her pop-up was on Coastal Living. Perfect for the North Shore of Massachusetts… perfect for the start of summer. Pam knows her customers! There is a theme-schedule that takes this new business model right through December starting with next month’s Outdoor Retreat, then Country Living, Cozy Cabins and Cottages, Harvest and Home, Gatherings and of course, Holiday Spirit.
Pam works hard to create and curate a fabulous environment. She sources unique items and accessories and tells a great story throughout her entire store. She begins with a concept board which was on display for everyone to appreciate. On this board she posted images torn from magazines, paint and fabric swatches and inspirational words in a large frame to help visually, tangibly set her vision. This is a great idea and for those of you who are technically inclined or want to share ideas virtually with others, you could do this on Pinterest.com, too! From there, Pam carefully selected (or personally created) special items and purchased inventory that ONLY complemented her theme. Some were new, some old… some serious, some whimsical… some large pieces of furniture, some small accessories. All were compelling in their own right and true to the Coastal Living concept.
I loved this idea. I give Pam and her team all kinds of credit for giving it a go. I wish her every success for stepping out and re-inventing retail HER way. And I will be back every month!
NOTE — Next month’s Indigo Blu Trading Company will be featuring “Outdoor Retreat” from July 19 through July 23 at their store, 2 Enon Street North Beverly. See you there! For more information visit them on Facebook (just search the entire name) where by the way, they will soon have “sneak peeks” of their next pop-up store!
If your downtown is involved in a “shop local” campaign… I hope you are participating fully! If your community doesn’t have one yet, I hope you will work with others to organize one. A few GREAT reasons are listed below, taken from an article entitled: Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses on the website for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Visit the website listed below, for more information and ways to support local businesses. They all make sense to me!
Why do you need to be so darn good? Why do you need to be at the top of your game EVERY day? Because there is so much competition for your customer’s dollars out there! But, you say… I am the only toy store in 5 miles… or there is no better ice cream than mine…or my fashion-forward clothing is at the best prices around. Well, what if your customer fully knows those things… but is enticed by something else? Everything that can take your customer’s money out of his or her pocket is competition. Sure, they wanted to get your delicious ice cream… until they got side-tracked by a SALE on shoes. Sure, they know your pricing for the hottest trends is best, but they suddenly realized Mother’s Day was coming up and fashion-forward went by the boards. And that toy… well, this time it was easier to order it on line and have it shipped. We need to stay top of mind with our customers for sure… but we also need to convert those good thoughts directly to purchases. That is Job 1!
A few tips:
Keep your windows and any displays that can be seen from outside your store compelling – don’t let someone walk by and “plan to come back.” Grab their attention and get them in the door!
When sending out email blasts or postcards, create a sense of urgency. While they are thinking about you they need to get down to your store ASAP!
When shoppers seem distracted and “just browsing,” provide an incentive for them to get serious while they are there. Give each of your salespeople a “make it happen fund” to use at their discretion so that they can offer a “today only special” and convert an interest to a sale.
…and just like the hundreds of buds we see on the trees outside, we have hundreds of great new marketing ideas. Every one of them feels like it should be part of a fresh new start for you and your business… but hold on a second…wait a minute… better yet take a seat, a paper and pencil and think things through FIRST! I don’t mean to rain on your spring parade of ideas, but it really is important to think strategically about what kind of new start you really want. Then, once you have a well-developed objective for this fresh start, you can put together a plan of action and fill in your marketing calendar with exactly the right ideas
Lately it seems I have met with a number of enthusiastic retailers who have skipped this objective-setting stage. They are using up a lot of energy trying to implement all of their ideas at once – without thinking through which ones will really help them meet their business goals. This not only doesn’t get them where they want…it wears out the staff and confuses customers. Attracting new customers requires one kind of approach; building loyalty with current customers takes another. There is a lot of time throughout the year to use some of the new ideas you are itching to try. Just like adding the right balance of sun and water to the seeds you’ve planted … carefully apply the right mix of marketing initiatives and grow your business just the way you want.