Is the Mom and Pop store dead ? Do big box stores control every retail industry in our modern world ? No and No. Here in St. Augustine Florida, my wife, Donna and I own and operate Brightside Blinds and Shutters. Our customers often choose us based on our local reputation, and are not shy about telling us that. We often hear from prospective clients, ” We have come to you because we’ve had bad experiences with custom made anything from the big box store. We are sure Home Depot or Lowes will screw up this time !” That may or may not be true. But prospective clients often interview us regarding the depth and scope of our industry knowledge. I get feedback from these folks after a job is done complimenting me and my staff for delivering the job “right, the first time.” This didnt happen overnight. Selling blinds, plantation shutters and custom draperies is a unique retail business because its all about measuring and finally installing custom fitted treatments to the sixteenth of an inch. A typical scenerio is like this: “I went to the big box store and they told me if I wanted custom window treatments, I would have to measure and install myself. I dont have time for that and besides, Ive never used a tape measure in my life!” My job is to show them around our showroom displays, discuss treatment options and make an appointment so we can measure and quote the job. Typically, its a day or two. Thats how a mom and pop business selling blinds, shutters and draperies in St. Augustine, Florida can thrive in an ecomony where mom and pops’ accross the board are disappearing. “Price, Product and Service,” used to be my mantra before the world economy crashed in 2008. I remember listening to TV news and radio reports of big box stores closing daily and thinking to myself, “Yes!” Because I knew St. Augustine needed what I had. My reputation as a fair, honest and LOCAL showroom store preceded me before each and every free estimate. We not only survived a crashed world economy but increased sales at least 10% per year since then. Now, people here still remember the way things used to be. A Mom and Pop store in any small town American community was commonly considered an integral part of the local economy. Here in St. Augustine, at Brightside Blinds and Shutters……… it still is.
January 4, 2015Uncategorized