With the growth of internet purchases, independent gourmet housewares retailers have had to continue to find new channels of interest for customers in order to keep repeat business. While some have struck gold with things like socks and items for pets, others have struggled with finding something new that works for them.
Terry Monroe, owner of Murphy’s Department Store in Stillwater, OK said that retailers don’t always need to look that far in order to find new sales opportunities – sometimes, they are right in your own backyard.
He recently told GOURMET INSIDER that his area has seen several stores close. He and his staff researched what was selling well there and made an effort to bring those items into Murphy’s in order to serve customers old and new.
“When a store goes out of business, we look and see what it was that those people carried,” he explained.
He said that a Hastings location near him closed, which had a lot of kids clothing. Since Murphy’s also carries clothing for children, he said that they expanded their offerings in that arena. He also said that a Gold Crown Hallmark store also went out of business, which allowed them to expand even further.
“That created a need for greeting cards. We didn’t pick up a greeting card section, but we did some spinners. If people are picking up a birthday present, they want a birthday card and a wedding present, they want a wedding card,” he said.
Monroe continued, “We also [brought in]Sophistiplate. That will take a little while because people aren’t used to finding paper party goods in our store, but without those other places, it’s created opportunities for us to pick up categories that we didn’t have before. We continuing to look and see as we get those opportunities to add to what we’re doing.”