Can knowing your wine shop’s neighbors be good for business? [level-members]
If you didn’t catch the Sesame Street reference in our title, check this out. It’s one of many clips for the song.
Beyond nostalgia for those of us of a certain age, the question – who are the people in your neighborhood? – is one you should be able to answer if you want to survive as a retail operation.
We know that “Main Street” retail is under siege from online competition and from big box chains. Knowing and working with your neighbors can be one of the keys to succeeding despite the less-than-positive environment many shops find themselves in.
Some of this is easy to imagine: if you haven’t partnered with a restaurant in your neighborhood to do wine pairing dinners, you’re missing a real opportunity. Similarly, you should be partnering with local non-profits to help them with their fundraising efforts by making donations, hosting events if you can, etc.
Beyond the obvious, though, there are ways to work together that are more subtle and that may work even more effectively because they are more subtle and more personal. Perhaps there’s a small knitting shop around the corner from yours. Featuring some of their products as part of your window display or shelf displays could be a great way to add a personal touch to your shop and help a neighbor.
Above all, be sure to get involved so that you all know each other and can work together as a group. One shop owner asking the town to go to the trouble and expense of lighting the streets festively for the holidays won’t carry nearly as much weight as ALL of the shop owners in an area. Mobilizing like that is only possible if you’ve already established trust and rapport.