There has been a noticeable shift in the buying habits of consumers in recent years. It is becoming more evident that foot traffic into our towns and cities is reducing and as a result businesses, specifically retail, are suffering.
There are numerous reasons for this such as rising rental prices but one of the main culprits is the rise of online shopping. It’s not just small businesses that are affected. Recently, Debenhams announced that they would be closing 50 stores over a five year period due to poor performance and heavy losses. With stores both large and small feeling the pinch, it has never been more important for businesses to invest in their future wisely and keep up with the developing trends.
A recent client of ours was one of the many businesses making tough decisions and deciding to not only invest in the online side of retail, but making it their exclusive source of income. The Paint Pot approached us with a plan. A plan to close their store in the heart of Cork city center, re-brand, and sell their products exclusively online. Connie, the owner of Willow Antiques tells her story;
The Paint Pot was set up in 2012 in the depths of the recession with the focus on Up-cycling and reusing old furniture. We were stockists in Cork City for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & we provided Up-cycling workshops to teach the Annie Sloan techniques.
Over the years the business transitioned from painting & sales of old furniture to Sales of Antique Furniture & gifts which has always been a passion of mine hence Willow Antiques was formed. We had a shop in Cork City until March 2018 and after taking a closer look at the business we decided that the expense of maintaining a City Center premises with high rent & access difficulties was unsustainable.
The business was relocated to a beautiful Georgian House in Monkstown for the summer. While here, we realised that it was possible to successfully run a shop away from the high street. Antiques are a niche business where in the modern world people will inevitably start their search online. By setting up a comprehensive website with professional photographs we could showcase our products to a wider audience. This has allowed us to move from the traditional shop and eliminate rents rates, insurance etc.
We helped Connie and Isobel transition between their old business to their new one by providing a full re-branding service from logo design to a new eCommerce website fit to grow and expand their new store.
Squawk Creative were recommended to us by another business to help design & setup our website. After our initial meeting we were confident we had chosen the right company to get us started. They really simplified the process for us to get a website up & running.
They had great patience guiding us through the various steps and trust me, their patience was tested on more than one occasion. They were extremely generous with their time and always pleasant to deal with.
The pleasure was all ours! You can check out Willow Antiques’ fantastic range of furniture and antiques on their brand new website here.