From the Retail Trenches

yes-were-openOwning a boutique affords me lots of people-watching opportunities, specifically potential-customer-watching opportunities.  It’s pretty fascinating! Every person who opens the door of my shop is a potential customer (yes, I’ve sold items to the FedEx guy and the mailman) and one thing I have learned: I cannot predict, just from appearance, what will happen when the door opens.  There are the “in-and-outers” who spend less than 60 seconds. They see only a small fraction of what’s fabulous in the shop.  There are the “promisers”  who say, “Love your store and I’m going to come back.”  (To them, I would like to say, “Pray I’ll still be in business whenever you come back.”)  The “shy browsers” might not say much but they are taking it all in and savoring the treasures they find.   I’ve encountered the “Whirlwinds” who enthusiastically, vocally love my shop and find 10 must-have items within a short time.  “Friends who shop” often inspire each other to make purchases, but occasionally they are so busy conversing that I’ve simply provided a space for them to gab.  “Tolerant spouses” may start out with arms crossed and frowns etched, but more often than not, I will win them over! And, finally, “purposeful repeaters” – the category of loyal shopper who purposefully finds his/her way to my shop because they know I will help them, they know they will leave carrying the perfect gift, they know as they walk out the door it will be with mission accomplished.  I love my customers, it makes me very, very happy to make a sale. Come visit me – perhaps you’ll be an entirely new category of potential customer; or better yet, you won’t be ‘potential’ for long!!

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