Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Comments From The Owner

It's been 1 1/2 years since we opened AT THE WAREHOUSE in June of 2007. Since then we have had a diverse group of vendors. Some have moved on, others have been moved, some have grown, others have stagnated. It's the norm for any market. We are always hoping the vendors are successful; however, what determines that is so complex that it's hard to pinpoint the reason(s) for success or lack of it. Clearly there are three important factors: traffic, attitude and getting the word out. However, if the product isn't desirable then all the traffic will not result in exceptional sales. To that end we jury new vendors and their product.

Regarding the traffic, we had hoped that by now the crowds would be steadily increasing and predictable. Every week we get new people; but why don't we see more regular customers? We had been hoping to attract several hundred each Saturday and Sunday. We have a regular distribution of our flyer to hotels, ads in Metroland, and are listed in the Sunday Driver antiques directory which is found throughout the state. Other advertising venues, including local magazines were not found to be worthwhile. We have had probably more local newspaper coverage than most businesses with articles in the Times Union, Metroland, Business Review, Spotlight and Capital Region Living Magazine. Silver Fox has been getting 3,500 hits to the website monthly and is steadily on page two of a Google search.

Are there any opinions out there to enlighten us about the traffic issue? We welcome it. Our goal has always been to make this a great local destination.


Zenzele said...

As a somewhat frequent visitor, I can give some suggestions that may or may not work:
-Host events/promotions
-Advertise more - I think a lot of people simply forget At the Warehouse exists, especially considering your location.
-More consistent attendance by the merchants. If I drive all the way there, and I can't buy the item, because the merchant wasn't there that day, I'm less likely to return.
-The sellers should reach out to customers way more than they have been. There are some very friendly merchants, and a couple who aren't as social. This causes a couple of problems - customers don't like getting the "brush-off," and we simply won't know who sells what, if no one speaks up.

Hope this helps.

North Albany Blogger said...

Thanks. That was helpful. Especially the comments about the merchants and hosting events. It's easy to advertise more, but so many venues are not worth it. The key is which venue is best for us.

North Albany Blogger said...

Since the vendors will be reading this, I hope you will realize the potential impact of wandering in late. This has been addressed many times and I personally have stopped bringing it up after 4 or 5 attempts. Starting with the new year we will behave more like a mall and have strict guidelines regarding lateness. REMEMBER (those of you who are there long enough): We used to open at 9am and went to 10am for YOUR conveince.

For those attending other shows, please leave enough merchandise out and a sign stating where you are and a phone number to reach you at. Camille or I will be talking to each of you and discuss how these issue effect you.

North Albany Blogger said...

I also urge all of you to sign up on the blog so you can post your comments. We are in this together and communication is important. Thanks. Fred