The Stationery Industry has been going through some major changes in the last two years. It’s been agonizing for me as a retail store owner. Not wanting to constantly be in reactive mode, I have been taking time to come up with another plan that maybe more sustainable for me, my family, and the business.
It all is always a fine balance and it’s never perfect. This large part of me has been waiting it out to see what happens. This last week I have come to terms with the changes I need to make to Bailey Bea Designs.
1) We are dropping Invitations. Invitations for adult and kid parties have taken a huge hit over the last year and we have very few orders these days. However my inbox is filling up with Evites. ARGH! It’s just not worth keeping them on the site if they are not selling and off setting the cost of their catalogs.
2) Wedding – Bailey Bea Designs is really a stationery store for families. We do a very small amount of wedding stationery business. So we are dropping Wedding.
3) Brands – Some designers we carried in the past are no longer in business. Some gave us the heads up that they change their business strategy and some never communicate and dropped off the face of the earth. It’s been so frustrating. Especially after paying for their catalogs and then to find out they are no longer in business a few months later. Some brands are so over priced for today’s economy we feel we have no choice but to drop them. So we are cutting back our brands and sticking with those that sell, are affordable, are dependable, and give me as a retailer outstanding customer service that I can pass down to my customers.
4) Group Buy websites have nearly destroyed retail as we knew it. No one really makes money on the deal. It’s great if you are getting rid of inventory, but if you sell a product 40-50% off and then make only 20-25% on the product no one is making money and the valuation of the product itself goes down. So every time a product that sells for $40 is sold on a group buy website for $20 I tend to get emails from potential customers asking me why I am charging so much more. They would rather pay $20 vs what the product is worth. They could careless if I am a small business or not. They just want the product for less. Yeah.. I dropped a few companies that won’t stop doing group buys because they devalue themselves, their products, and the perceived value of what products do actually cost to make and produce.
5) Baby Announcements and Moving announcements – We just can’t compete price wise with a few companies that keep offering the similar products for below wholesale. So we will no longer be carrying these items.
6) Tees and Clothes – We will dropping these items as well. We get few orders for them since a certain company has been doing one too many group buys for these items.
7) Holiday Cards – Again we cannot compete with a certain company that keeps offering group buys or large discounts below wholesale for Holiday Cards. We are dropping them and only keeping a small few everyday photo cards.
8) Google keeps changing how it does SEO and keeping up is adding up. I just don’t have money to do the full blown SEO I would like to do and to do it right would mean I trim back some of my product offerings and focus on the products that sell. So I am doing just that.
We pride ourselves for remembering our customers names, orders, and special requirements. Our concentration will be what it always has been it will be on our Customers. But we are changing strategy and sticking to brands and products that do sell. We will be offering more gift products and re-package gifts for unique gift giving.
I’m still crazy about stationery, but now I have opportunities to show you how crazy I am about funny cards, camp designs, gifts for my favorite people, etc..
We will start rolling out our new packaged products this next week and we have a ton of new gift products and camp products we will be adding too! It’s an exciting change and we are looking forward to it. So excuse our dust as we start making changes. And get excited to see what’s coming up!
Thanks so much for your continued support.
Bailey Bea Designs