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Old 4th May 2013, 08:15 PM   #1

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
Default Bringing Other Merchants Into Our Existing Store

We rent a two-story historical house in a downtown area for our gift shop. We have been in business for 11 years. With the painfully slow rebound of the economy we are thinking about renting out space on the second level to help with expenses and generate more traffic and sales. We have up to five rooms that we can make available for rent. This can be short-term or long-term. We would like to get some rental income rather than relying on consignment income.

Our first thought was to sublease the upper level as a whole. It is possible to have a separate entrance and separate utilities for the upper level. Then we thought about renting out space and “combining” the shopping experience for customers.

We are inexperienced with this concept.

So, where to begin…

We have no intention of closing our doors any time soon, but we are concerned about our customers and the general public getting a negative image from this.

In a confidential way, where do we begin to look for prospective additions to our gift shop? We want compatible and quality merchants to merge with us.

We are not looking to share the responsibility of running our store. We will maintain our daily responsibilities of our store operations.

What works best for the sale of merged merchandise? I have seen a couple stores that operate successfully with a “merged sale” format.

Any lessons learned that we should be aware of?

Thanks for any advice you care to share!

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Old 6th May 2013, 01:38 PM   #2

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 77


How much merchandise currently sells from a second floor display? If I were selling goods that require visibility, I'd be hesitant to rent a second floor space.

Individual service providers or craftspeople might find it useful if the gift shop is complimentary, like someone doing custom picture frames or embroidery. In that case, potential customers would ask about framing and you would direct them upstairs. Those people don't depend so much on window shopping behavior.

Also, services won't compete with your business, and may be more likely to generate new traffic.

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Old 7th May 2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 538

As you have a separate entrance for upstairs, you could furnish the five rooms as offices and rent them out to small and starting businesses. With your own business experience to back you, you could become a small business incubator.

By helping your tenants grow their businesses, you bring more people (their customers) to your premises, who are then exposed to your gifts.

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