In this series we will ask 10 Questions of independent retailers around the world. In this difficult time we're all facing, we wanted to find out how these shops are doing, how they plan to operate in the short term and how you can support them to make sure their doors open when the coast is clear.
- Have you closed the doors to your store by government mandate? We have closed, before any Government, State or Federal, have told us to. It feels like a moral prerogative on our part, and to be honest, I’m concerned and unhappy that we haven’t been told to.
- Did you have an e-commerce store before the emergence of the virus? Yes we have a website; elroyclothing.com.au
- If so, have you noticed an uptick in online sales as loyal customers want to support you? We haven’t yet seen a noticeable uptake, but we only closed our doors yesterday (24 March 2020). We are offering 20% off across all brands, and free domestic shipping, which has resulted in a couple of orders. We find our website operates (to a large degree) as an online catalogue; our customers often come in knowing exactly what they want to try on… so we will see in time how our online sales develop.
- If not, have you been able to sell products via email or by appointment in the store? We are for now open by appointment. Again, it’s a bit early to gauge the results…
- Do you believe that consumers will change their mentality regarding where they spend their money and what they buy if they see their neighborhoods changed due to store closures related to the quarantine?Obviously this is a crucial question. If, at the other end, if there are NO High Street, independently owned, multi brand stores left in your Suburb/Town/City/ then you can’t shop in them! This limits your choice, and in my opinion, the internet will ultimately limit your choice as well; “Freedom to choose what is always the same”… It seems to me that our small place in the retail landscape is more threatened and more important than ever. On the plus side, only the truly dedicated will survive this; the operators who invest themselves in their business. It will be interesting to see if the current situation changes attitudes towards “Fast Fashion” and consumerism in general. Hopefully, the consumers who appreciate the ethical, aesthetic and practical values of the product we sell will continue to seek us out!
- Is The Clash A) the greatest English band of all-time B) the best punk band ever C) The Only Band That Matters or D) all of the above? D - all of the above. Especially the fantastic second line up… ***
- Are you using some of the time during the closure of your store to do some projects inside the store (remodeling, re-merchandising, etc)? Our lease is up soon, and we were looking for a new premises. Obviously that is on hold, but as and when we can, we will resume our search.
- Have any of your brick and mortar customers reached out to you specifically to see how you're doing and asked how they can support you? A few have. In the scheme of things, right now there are other more pressing concerns for most of us to take care of.
- Are you optimistic you will survive the quarantine and be able to reopen your store? Yes. I am sure we will re-open at some stage in a new location.
- If someone reading this would like to support you by making a purchase from you, what is the best way for them to handle the inquiry? The best way to reach out is through our website - elroyclothing.com.au and on Instagram @elroy_clothing New stock is being added daily! Stay safe and the best of luck to you all x
*** shop owner Nick Sheppard played lead guitar in The Clash from 1983-86!