originally posted by: watchitburn
So turn them into strip malls and flea markets?
Only kind of. I left out a few key ideas to save the length of the post. There are a couple ways it could be managed, either as one large corporate
entity that is in charge of the SALE of goods inside, or have many small independent shops/areas that are staffed independently by the shop owner.
I'm REALLY not thinking about a big box store filled with flea market stuff that is $1-2 (or less) - though there may be days where stuff like this
could be sold in a parking lot sale where the owners could be present as well.
Where I live there are "flea markets" and farmers markets - (where 80+% of goods are new) and these places do extremely well and they travel to
different markets many times a week, having to set up/tear down every day. It is A LOT of work doing it this way and they loose a lot of business due
to the hours and only being in one location once a week.
We also have hundreds or thousands of small businesses most who live here have never heard of but they make some really amazing stuff. Word of mouth
is often how people find these things but the merchants would do much more business if there was a central location where they could display goods,
even if it was only display items or a "catalog" or examples of work - which would be ordered and either delivered direct to customer or to the store
where it could be picked up.
Imagine if you had a few items that you made that would take up a shelf 2-4ft wide x 6ft tall (mabye 4-8 levels of shelves) where an item could be
displayed for customers to review - maybe with a product leaflet/brochure, cataloge, etc. If they had questions they could call the number displayed
at your shelf section. They decide to buy, seller drops off item, is held at store for pickup by customer or ships direct. not much different than
how some things work at Walmart now with outside vendors in some ways. All this could be done through the company (big box store) website, where they
take a % of the sale.
Also, some sellers could also have their products on shelf for sale, no need to order, just take to register as well. It just depends on the items,
size, cost, if it is custom (meaning the ordered item would be a custom design), etc.
I've come up with about 3-5 different options for this kind of thing and they all have advantages and drawbacks, all of them have potential of being
successful with the correct management and traffic flow.
Think about how many people go to these "deep discount" stores that buy seconds or odd-lots (think "Big-Lots" or Ollies) and how their inventory is
ever changing. I know people who go there very often just to see what new stuff has come in and they often find pretty awesome stuff priced really
well, and also some real junk. But with these stores most of the stuff is all big name manufacturers who are clearing out old stock, unsuccessful
products, etc - but some people love "unsuccessful" products b/c it fit their needs perfectly and they'll buy them out of the product.
With what i'm describing, there are basically endless ways that this could be run with a mix/match of new, used, custom hand made goods, etc.
There are many small artists who make things that have workshops where they display their goods, the thing is that they dont' get a lot of business
b/c not much traffic through their little shop. By having a small display in a big store like this, it increases the chances of someone seeing your
goods buy 1000-10,000x (basically the # of people walking by) vs the 1-10 that may come through a home office shop at the back of your property.
This might be largely dependent upon the area in which the store is located. Places where there are alot of antiques, unique items and skilled
craftsmen might have a better chance of filling a store like this with interesting goods.
It's also not out of the question to offer services though this location either, especially those which are less common and people may not know they
exist. Putting it in a place where people are browsing may garner a lot of attention which otherwise would never exist.