24th Mar 2020
10 Questions : James Dant / Indianapolis, Indiana USA
10 Questions: James Dant / Indianapolis, Indiana USA
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 closed them beforehand as a social distancing measure and have been operating as an online retailer since March 16th. They have since mandated that we remain closed to the public until the 7th of April.
- Did you have an e-commerce store before the emergence of the virus? Yes, luckily we did! We've been making updates and this time has allowed us to pay much more attention to that side of the business.
- If so, have you noticed an uptick in online sales as loyal customers want to support you? We have yes. We were looking at lower numbers online this year for the first quarter until this happened. Now, we're above where we were last year at this time.
- If not, have you been able to sell products via email or by appointment in the store? We were open for an appointment last week. That helped on Saturday.
- Do you believe that consumers will change their minds regarding where they spend their money and what they buy if they see their neighborhoods changed due to store closures related to the quarantine? I hope they will. We saw our customer base continue their former in-store support online. We're hoping to gain new customers as we evolve and innovate online.
- 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? Have to go with B.
- Are you using some of the time during the closure of your store to do some projects inside the store (remodeling, re-merchandising, etc)? We have taken this time to work on inventory. The next step is creating a denim bar. Mostly we're trying to adjust to all the changes at the moment.
- 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? We have had so many kind messages both when people are placing orders and through social media. We've been trying to remain active and provide our customers with an alternative narrative to all the doom and gloom. We think for this alone we've had more interaction than we're used to digitally.
- Are you optimistic you will survive the quarantine and be able to reopen your store? I am optimistic yes. I think we all have to be optimistic that things can rebound. I don't think any of us want to go back to the way things were. We hope that this can enact change and make things better in the future. I think it makes us all realize we're not invincible. Things were going incredibly well this year, and for that cushion we built we're extremely thankful, but at any moment you can hit a brick wall. That brick wall is COVID-19. But we find ways to go around, under, over, or through that roadblock to keep pushing and hopefully re-open to the public when we all wake up from this nightmare.
- If someone reading this would like to support you by purchasing from you, what is the best way for them to handle the inquiry? Head right over to our website! www.jamesdant.com. If you have any inquiries or need personal shopping, reach out to us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through DM on Instagram. DM's are the quickest and most interactive form of communication. Our handle is @jamesdant_purveryors.