10 Questions: Urban Lupe / Fitzroy, Australia
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? Yes, currently the store operates on appointments only, we may completely shut doors depending on further notice by the Australian government.
- Did you have an e-commerce store before the emergence of the virus? Yes, this is the way, every premium business has an online store when they open.
- If so, have you noticed an uptick in online sales as loyal customers want to support you? Yes, during this hard time, small biz like ours offer special to customers, after talking to my partner, we decide to offer 20% off sitewide, this is the final continued offer during the COVID-19 period. Ever since we start offering discounts, we see a huge uptick on our website, thanks to all my dear friends/customers who show their support.
- If not, have you been able to sell products via email or by appointment in the store? We are doing them all, online, via email, social media, phone calls, and anything that can help the guys to get what they want.
- 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 would say not really in Australia. Based on my understanding, different brands offer different fits, sizes, and styles, this is not a fast-fashion item that people can just throw their money into it. It is like running a music band, people need to hear it then will know if they like their songs. Same in this world, people need to try on the clothes then they will know if the product fits them. So I would say people are still willing to visit the physical store to try on the clothes, besides it is not only about the clothes, but it is also about the service that we offered.
- 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? I have to go with D on this one :p
- 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 are in the same situation with Elroy clothing, our lease is finishing up by the end of April, and if the lockdown continues, then we need to temporarily close the store to save some cash (I don’t want to, I love the space, and my landlord is awesome) and looking for other places. We will also use the time to build up our online store so that our customers can shop online easier and more friendly.
- 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? Yes, they are amazing, ever since this nonsense started, our dear customers/friends reach out to us via phone calls, text messages, and Instagram to check on us to make sure we are in good condition and offer help. I am deeply grateful and appreciate the offer, Thank you, guys.
- Are you optimistic you will survive the quarantine and be able to reopen your store? Yes, for sure we will survive and we will be stronger than ever after this. Both in our lives, and our business.
- If someone reading this would like to support you by purchasing from you, what is the best way for them to handle the inquiry? You can contact us via Instagram (@urban_lupe), email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.urbanlupe.com.au