Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here's the Dealio...

I am a fairly new shop owner...I've been open a couple months now. In these couple months I've learned that location is everything...or at least a huge part of it. Having said that, I am constantly looking for places to put up satellite shops. I read the feeds, I scour classifieds, yadda yadda. It seems every time I go look at available spaces, it is either 1) a location that I really don't want to be associated with or 2) a completely dead sim, or 3) a combination of both. I was lucky and found a shop in Givenchi, but that is the one and only time "luck" has worked for me. lol

So I guess my question is this...how do some of you find the ideal places to put your shops? Do you feel you have to be part of a clique? Do you have to know the right people? What's the magic combination that I'm missing? All I want is a nice, attractive, classy, active sim. Is that too much to ask?

And just so this is clear...this is not a whiny omg I feel so sorry for myself post. I'm really curious as to how I should be going about all this. I still feel like such a newbie sometimes. lol

7 comments:

Ariadne Korda said...

Oh heck yes. And I've faced the samething. Worse, locations where everything seems 'right'... nothing happens. I've tried setting up in places that have similar stuff to me (the Dreaded Decor), and places where I'm the only one offering that. I've tried expensive places and cheapos, and same. Go figure why some work and some don't in some cases.

My own decision was to stick with one main store (and try to promote that, although that's another story), and to keep a smaller location in a place that works (OK, I admit it, plug for Venice Passion as I co-own it). Another place, I took because I think it has potential but not sure how long I will / can wait...!

What seems to makes Venice Passion 'work' (at least for a great majority of the vendors) is several things: we let people evolve, i.e. bigger spaces, more prims, if and when needed (we're the owners AND the builders. Low rents. Creators only. Variety. Lots of flexibility and we've been around for ages.

OK, it being, y'know, Venice and gondola and other fun stuff helps to get people in - our traffic is great. But most of all we actually spend a huge amount of time TALKING to our vendors. Asking what sort of events they want (I'm currently doing a treasure hunt), asking if they're happy, encouraging synergies with other vendors, being a shoulder to cry on, etc. etc.

We struggled to build traffic at first... like everybody else. Campers (ew, but using alts not chairs), and by offering deals to renters. Fortunately, we're now established and don't need that but it still means constantly just being there and being flexible. Also, we're happy not to make big bucks but just to cover the tier. That's something our vendors know and appreciate. If we make a profit, we buy land or add stuff to make the place prettier.

OK, enough of a plug. Contact me inworld if you're interested: I have one store not taken, which we're using as a private gallery for the moment but we'd LOVE somebody doing poses. Heh.

Zelly Mornington said...

Thanks so much for your input Ariadne! I would love to check out Venice Passion. I'll send you an IM tonight when I get home from work. :)

Belle Lefavre said...

I'm a SIM owner who wants to know how to find quality vendors.

I've found the classified ads do not attract the type of shops I want to have on my SIM and blindly approaching folks hasn't seemed to work too well either. I don't know how to find out who is in the market.

I posted on Shopping Cart Disco earlier in response to the closing of Moosh but we’re rebuilding the Quartz Isle SIM and Quarters Nightclub. (Note everything is stil open we're just planning to update to a nicer "look") We have been opened for 6 months. We’ve attracted ZHAO Shoes recently and Alphamale and Blacklace have been there from the beginning. The club holds events daily from 4-10 SLT and attracts a nice amount of traffic. I’m looking for tenats that I feel would be a good match for our club clientel because I want tenants to who stay with us. Someone selling formal gowns is probably not a good match but my PixelDolls affiliate store is selling about 1K per week with very minimal work from me. If anyone would like to see the new build (which will probably launch somewhere around July 1) please feel free to message me in world - Belle Lefavre. Since we are knew and relatively unknown I have offered a couple of individuals introductory offers in order for them give the area a try and I’d be willing to talk about that with others as well.

Samara Kasshiki said...

Hi -- I have grown from a tiny shop to a half sim complex in the last "almost" two years. While I am in the one store only camp, I have tried mini shops. This has been discussed in other blogs and seems equally divided between "yes, it works for me" and "NO way will I try that again". That being said, the most obvious way I can think of to get into an area you want is to contact the owner of the complex in hopes of getting the next available space. SOME spaces are of course self serve, but others are not. So you might try that. And remember that just like RL, building a business in Phil's Place takes time :) Good luck!

Dove Swanson said...

Hiya!

Congrats on yer new store! Don't be discouraged or anything, it sounds like you are doing just fine.

I guess for me the multiple store locations just sorta came with time. And just keeping my name out there dangling in front of people and in the back of their minds constantly.

Advertise yourself in every medium you can (groups, forums, blogs, flickr, etc). Build a good quality product under your name and the rest sort of comes to you. If your name becomes associated with quality (and an easy personality to work with) then you'll find the quality locations and folks will seek you out, and if they don't, they'll be happy when you seek them out.

But yeah, I won't go as far as to say clique...but who you know does get you pretty far. And with time you will know more and more people with ties/contacts - and being a pose shop owner - you can meet SO many people if you just hang out in your store. I don't mean just everyday shoppers either, I mean designers and creators by the loads. lol.

Good luck!

Kesseret Steeplechase said...

I won't name names but a prominent location put my friend on the mailing list as the next to receive a rental area when one openied up and sure enough- plenty newcomers but she was never asked. So I don't put my store in many locations anymore unless the owner is trusted.

Lost Angles is a good place as Jad is very good about his traffic (I used to be there), then House of Hart Mall which has really provided the kind of outcome I want from a mall store, but other than that, I just promote my main store and it's been very good to me. What I did do is I have affiliates instead of mall stores and I have a healthy amount of affiliates which are people who are committed to selling my product and have their own locations which they do promote. The relationships been very good to me and I hope I've been good to them. Though with poses that's kind of hard to do (affiliates)

Hope this helps!

Ariadne Korda said...

What Dove says is so true. Hanging out in places *HELPS*. Even if it's not your main store, it's worth trying to be at the others now and then - including getting to know the other stores around.

We had one lady who was something of a diva and said she 'really didn't have time to come to her dozens of outlest' - and then insisted it was our fault she didn't sell much. And criticised everything rather than suggesting things that would make her happier. Um. No, not going to get into that as it wasn't funny being treated as some sort of unpaid (stupid) skivvy but hey... you get all sorts.

Getting to know the others in the mall means they steer people to your store. It means extra synergies as I said before. Coming to events there means goodwill - and that's part of what it's all about. We have a couple of people in Venice who are fairly well known in their particular sector but, bless them, they are the FIRST to join in when something's going on, the FIRST to welcome others.

Ranted enough and stepping slowly down from my soapbox now...