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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Real SOS!

I usually get style and shopping SOS "signals" from you guys, but this one here is more serious than most! Got any tips or advice before I dish out my own? Feel free to help out everyone! =)

Hi! Need help. I've always known that fashion is my passion and have gone on an entrepreneurial venture for 3 years now. I run a small boutique in the province and was quite successful in establishing a regular network of customers. However, a new mall was put up recently in our area and has driven everyone in their direction. The inevitable happened.. and small retail stores like mine tremendously suffered in terms of sales. I really don't know what to do. It breaks my heart to close shop because I really love my store and I don't want my staff to lose their jobs. =(

To put up a fighting front, I attempted to apply for stall space lease space inside the mall and came up with a unique store concept should the mall allocate a lifestyle/ fashion avenue section for small retailers like me. I prepared and have submitted needed documents like LOI, store concept, lay-out perspective,etc. It has been more than a week now, and I still haven't heard from the lease officer yet. Would it be proper to give them a call? They told me that they they will be the one to contact me once they've found an available space.I don't want to seem like a pushy applicant, but the waiting really kills me. This is my last hope to resuscitate my business and I don't know what to do anymore...please help me!

6 comments:

Vanessa said...

By all means, get in their faces and be aggressive! It's a competitive market out there and one needs to show a little more assertiveness. Trust, it goes a long way. I'd even suggest going beyond a phone call and arranging to meet the lease officer. While the final response from management might not be available yet, your seriousness definitely won't be in question!

Also - what's plan B?

Disclaimer: I'm never run a business in my life. I can, however, get pretty pushy when the situation calls for it.

Cosmopolicious said...

i agree with vanessa. you should definitely call. i work for a skincare company and from my experience with retailers in the philippines (and all over the world for that matter), good things don't happen to those who wait. good things happen to those who take initiave and take over the reins. be assertive, always respectful of course, but show that you're eager to succeed and energetic.
plan B - work on marketing ideas on how to get customers back to your store. leafleting, come up with incentives to create customer loyalty, contact your former patrons etc...

Anonymous said...

This isn't related to the question at hand, but need some advice on this one. How much do you tip a hairdresser if he's the head honcho/ salon named after him guy? This has seriously perlplexed me for the longest time!

Mega Sardines said...

It's hard but you have to compete.

The battle nowadays rely on quality since competition is the biggest barrier.

Good luck, just think positive.

Learn to position your business, don't be afraid of facing such hardships.


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mega.mfc@gmail.com

jillsabs said...

why don't you try moving your business online?

this way, you'll have minimal expenses and you'll have a broader market to cater to.

Cha said...

The UK prides itself to being a nation of shop owners. Shopping centres affecting local high street businesses is always a hot topic in the news. Below are just some things people over here are doing to fight back:

- Hook up with other local business owners and start a 'buy local' campaign. It's amazing how people are just ignorant of issues outside of the latest political scandal and showbiz chismis. Nothing militant, mind. Just information dessimination through local papers, tv, radio, etc.

- Make the most of your local knowledge and work towards a cult following. The mall might be big but you've been doing business for much longer than them. You should know where the cool places are and be visible there.

- Define your store's character. A good example of a store in the same predicament here identified that they want to cater to their town's fashionable set. They want their shop to be the default stop for clothes for a Friday night out. They started taking photos of fashionable people and put it in a 'Seen' wall. You get how it goes.

Mary Portas is a celebrity retailer here and I really enjoy watching her shows because she really busts some b@lls. :) Hopefully the link below can get you going.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F5CCA9FBA025BD57&search_query=mary+portas

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