We are always sad saying good bye to retailers who have won our hearts. This weekend, we walked over to the coffee shop to pick up breakfast – we had to choose take out because we were too busy to linger table side. Lo and behold, one of our favorite little shops was being emptied. We were so surprised, sad and yet, not shocked. It has happened before. I know we can only do so much…just thought, “oh, could we have done more?”
Another shop was leaving our little “main street” row of historic retail shops. This one, the “jam” shop that really was our jam – we have never eaten so much jam since the farmers market moved indoors to be open every singe day of the week. Whew!
But, it isn’t a sad story – not entirely anyway – as of this past weekend, Two Sister’s Canning is going back to its roots and working “only” seasonal farmer’s market, craft fairs and food festivals. Every day all summer, not every day all the rest of the year.
Which is to say, still a lot of work…but less than trying to split your time between off-premise and retail, which is exactly like running two different businesses. Three if you count the manufacturing side of the biz, too.
Today I was able to stop in and see the owner and I have a hint of who is coming in this December to fill the sought after retail space! I told you there was a bright side to the story and I am happier to know the new retailer. I have high expectations if this rumor is correct – I think they will do really well in the Boro.
No doubt, retail business ownership, just like running a restaurant or a service-based business, is hard. No one ever said that it was easier than going to work for someone else. Some do decide that they would would rather invest in themselves and in their ability to work hard. Why do that for just any “someone”? Why not make that someone, you?
In retail, you have to plan your hours. You have to know the shopping habits of the neighborhood. You have to know that the product is in demand; so, is it? How much do you have to sell to cover overhead, not just the rent, but the staff to be open all of the hours you need? (Oh, there is so much else…but those can be big issues that make or break a retail business.)
Then, even if you knew all of those factors and could make it work, you have to take the end of the lease and the opportunity to renew as a serious consideration. You need to decide – again – if you are ready for the re-commitment to the brick and mortar aspect of the business (especially if you have a “pop-up shop” model that works well and maybe even better.)
As much as we all like the idea of the retail shop, the owner has to complete that circle and the balance. And, no. We never, ever like saying good bye to the stores that leave – especially when you know how hard they worked to make it last. We’ll catch you next time – and here’s to hoping the new retailer believes the jams have a fit in her new location, otherwise, we will be sure find you on the road!
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl