10 Questions: Office Hours/San Luis Obispo, California 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? Yup. We had our last walk-in customer on March 14th. Still in the shop daily, packing up online purchases and home delivery.
- Did you have an e-commerce store before the emergence of the virus? We did. Though, like a lot of folks, we’re working double time to improve it. Up to now, it’s been a sales tool and an extension of our physical store. I think we’re all looking at how to make the e-com store a way to tell our story to a wider audience.
- If so, have you noticed an uptick in online sales as loyal customers want to support you? Yes. Our customers have been pretty amazing actually. The support from friends both locally and further afield has been a highlight of these “interesting” times.
- If not, have you been able to sell products via email or by appointment in the store? Yes, I’d also throw in Direct Messages (on Instagram & Facebook). We are where our clients need us to be. However they feel comfortable communicating, we’re into it.
- 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? No doubt. Downtown SLO is a special place, and what makes it special is the locally owned businesses. If that changes, people will be affected by it. Some will step up and support shops like ours, and some may not. It’s our job to take care of, and support those who do and give them a bunch of reasons why they should.
- 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? Not sure. What do they sing again? Oh, do they sing Wonderwall? I like those guys. Editors note: WTF
- Are you using some of the time during the closure of your store to do some projects inside the store (remodeling, re-merchandising, etc)? At this point, we’re taking it day by day. We always have plans in the works, but it’s a little opaque how long this will continue, so we’re trying to spend some time planning to the best of our ability.
- 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? Yup. Like up above, we can’t say enough about our customers, friends of the shop, and folks who just dig what we do. I hope we can keep it up.
- Are you optimistic you will survive the quarantine and be able to reopen your store? Yup. No doubt about it. As a true Gen Xer I’ve been through a bit (Dot.com bubble, 9/11, Recession) We’ve set ourselves up to be resilient and flexible. I have no doubt we’ll be putting great people in Tellason jeans again soon.
- If someone reading this would like to support you by purchasing from you, what is the best way for them to handle the inquiry? Our website is the easiest for most - OfficeHoursSLO.com. Our Instagram gives folks a chance to see things with a little more interactivity - @Office.Hours.SLO. Or you can email us - at james@OfficeHoursSLO.com