Gift Shop

Gift Shop Pets Fall 2020

magazine for retailers at gift shops and specialty stores

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GIFTSHOPMAG.COM 5 Above: This boutique offers merchandise in a wide range of prices. Visit our website to see more exclusive photos of this store. Right: Decadent Dogs owner Roxanne Leder. TOYS • West Paw • GoDog Toys HARNESSES • Ruffwear COLLARS • Up Country FOOD • Fromm Foods TREATS • Preppy Puppy Bakery at the Small Business Development Center. "Their office is located at Western Michigan University, 40 miles away, and they also make visits to the store upon request. This is a free service provided by the federal government, I call it 'my tax dollars hard at work.' Their advice is valuable," emphasized Leder. COVID-19 IMPACTS When the pandemic closed many retailers, Decadent dogs remained open, with limited hours. During some of that time it offered only curbside pickup and home delivery to its customers. "During March, April and May we just sold food, which we only have a 30% markup on and sold not much of it … and we did not have enough sales to make expenses. Since Memorial Day sales have almost returned to normal, as our tourist town has reopened under social distancing rules," she said. When asked if the pandemic has affected how the store conducts business, Leder shared: "Yes, the six-foot distancing is the hardest part as our store's success is built on greeting, interacting and our friendliness. Talking through a mask and staying six feet away makes it harder to establish that friendly connection." COVID-19 also impacted the store's merchandising techniques. Before the pandemic, Leder used windows to highlight specific products and entice customers into the store. Now window displays are helping customers shop, visually. "During the full lockdown I started putting obvious prices on items in the windows. Posting prices helped people make decisions while viewing and we encouraged them to call or order online — even knock on the door and ask to see and touch. I also posted lists of available items. For example, we specialize in breed items, so I'd put a pair of PJ pants in the window featuring a Boston Terrier and post the list of other breeds available next to it," she explained. Leder, like other retailers, wants to ensure her customers have what they need and turns to other resources in order to improve her business. When asked if she had any advice for others in the industry she simply said: "Never complain to anyone except someone that can help to solve your issue."

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