Among the best features of small towns are country stores. These are shopping establishments that offer just about everything under the sun. The merchandise includes everything from homemade cookies to funky clothing items to high-quality handcrafted furniture.
During the global recession, a lot of people thought that the niche market country stores cater to would cease to exist. However, due to the ingenious marketing tactics that so many country stores employed, they managed to protect their business and keep their customers locked in.
So, if you are an entrepreneur preparing to open a store, it may help you to study the business wonder that is a country store. Find out below how, in economically challenging times, they manage to stay afloat, and how, despite being considered SMEs, they continue running for many generations.
1. Exemplary customer service is their standard.
Small town country stores do not just impress with the vast range of items they offer; they earn the affection of everybody who visits them as well. The employees are always polite and accommodating.
Plus, they are highly knowledgeable about all the items you can find in their store. If you have any questions about a particular item, they can provide you with all the vital information such as why the product is good, where it’s manufactured, and its function or style.
This is quite often the case because the business owner is present in day-to-day operations and manages employees as if they are members of their own family. They impart their knowledge in every way they can and exhibit a passionate behavior that their employees can emulate.
2. Country store product displays are always a work of art.
Country stores are especially known for their eye-catching displays. Despite the abundance of choices and the seeming lack of streamlined organization, it is often difficult to miss the smallest products.
According to country retail store owners, their secret to attractive displays is how they create a scene instead of just lining their products up for shopping convenience. They know very well that country store enthusiasts come to buy partly because of the inspiring scene the store creates for buyers.
When shoppers visit the store, they automatically get a good idea of how they can use the products for their home, or solely for their personal enjoyment.
3. There’s something for everybody.
Country stores, unlike your typical fashion stores, tend to be more inclusive. When they carry items of clothing such as custom-made shirts, they often come in all the crucial varieties such as different colors and sizes.
And, if they do not have the size of clothing you need in the store, they are always willing to accommodate you, especially if you love a specific piece. It is no issue for them to reach out to the clothing manufacturer so you can have what you want.
A country store’s idea of selling is not limited to what they have. It is about meeting every need, even to the point of referring customers to a competing store.
4. Country stores use new ways to reach customers.
The most successful country stores are known for being innovative with their selling strategies. They do not solely rely on the popularity of their brick and mortar establishment.
According to Susan Wagner, the editor-in-chief of Country Business Magazine, country stores are often fixtures at local festivals, fairs, and even home parties, where they can reach out to new people who may be interested in their offerings. Doing this allows them to move their merchandise more quickly.
Aside from taking part in such events, most country stores have active websites that also serve as online stores and a useful idea resource for their patrons.
5. They keep an eye out for anything new and special in the local scene.
Country stores are not much for trends; they have an established style, but they always bring in something new that they know their customers would love. They can do this by keeping an eye on the local industries that figure in their business and take advantage of consignment arrangements.
This allows them to introduce new products to the market and assess the market’s response to determine if they are worth investing in selling. It is a low-risk system that is quite beneficial in growing a network of reliable suppliers.
So, if you want your business to have the longevity and beloved repute of country stores, imbibe the five lessons shared above.
Momin Rabbani is the Founder of Emirates Apparel in Dubai, a trademark of Aston GB General Trading Co LLC. The company has secured authorised UAE distributor status of the world-famous American brands Fruit of the Loom and Russell Europe, also known as Jerzees. Emirates Apparel aims to be the leading supplier of quality promotional, work wear and leisurewear garments in the UAE.