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A Destination With Energy

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On a recent visit to SoulCycle for 45 minutes of indoor cycling torture, an article posted on the wall caught my eye.

The Fast Company story noted that while much of traditional retailing continues to get “Amazoned,” SoulCycle has become a rare thing: “A destination with energy.” My internal gears (not the bike’s) immediately shifted to the world of independent gourmet housewares retailing.

With many store owners looking for ways to offset the competitive headwinds of Amazon, what steps could owners take to bring new energy to their stores?

Finding ways to re-energize one’s store in the wake of the holiday shopping season is challenging, but most will be out at the January markets across the U.S. looking for new products, ideas and inspiration.

Perhaps we can help as well.

In this issue, we talked to Kirsten Gjesdal of Carrot Seed Kitchen, Co. in Brookings, SD (see story on page 47). After buying a building and moving her store, Gjesdal’s thoughts turned to bringing renewed energy to her store while also seeking opportunities to easily refresh her mix on a seasonal basis without much disruption.

Sensing opportunity in tabletop, Gjesdal went old school and cross-merchandised a host of products including flatware, glassware, mugs, table linens and accessories as part of a tablescape. This solution has allowed her to regularly update the products and overall look of the table setting, while also getting her customers to think more about tablescapes for home entertaining.

Across South Dakota in Rapid City, Ashley Berry noted that a focus on tea has brewed a new energy at her store, Someone’s In The Kitchen (see story on page 38).

Berry allows customers to smell and feel the tea prior to making a purchase, and also brews some for them to taste. This allows her customers the opportunity to find their preferred flavor of tea and also makes the shopping experience at Berry’s store a memorable one.

What Gjesdal and Berry show is that you don’t have to go overboard to bring a new energy to your store. The key is finding the right thing for your brand and using it to its maximum potential. It could be something as simple as teatime or creating interactive displays that inspire your customers. It could be something completely different but unique to your store. Start with something small, especially at a time when you’re looking to catch your breath.

I can run on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike for free. I spend money at SoulCycle because the energy I get from that experience is worth every dime.

Make the new experience in your store worth every dime to your shoppers.


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