I know that early January can have air of gloom about after the glitz of Christmas, it doesn’t last long its just needs getting through. There’s plenty of stuff to look ahead to and get excited about in the year ahead.
On the business front one thing is starting to concern me though and I thought I’d share it here and hopefully gain some valued feedback from the people who matter.
I’ve been trading on Gillygate for 15 years this year, its always been home to an eclectic range of independent local businesses ( and still is ) but the prevalent trend seems to be that many of these businesses are finding it hard to make a living on a peripheral street in the city. Of course this has always been the case, over years businesses succeed and fail, it’s the nature of retail evolution.However, we have have lost a number of well established retailers on Gillygate over the past 12 months, the shops now sit empty, its a worrying trend, indeed it seems to be happening across the city and beyond.
Fortunately Snowhome remains viable and as we make plans for 2016 I began to wonder what it is that people want from a shopping experience these days ? Are shops necessary in the way that they once were? For many the internet has become the most convenient way to consume in recent years. As our trust in the technology expands and become second nature and the kids who have grown up with iPods in their hands become wage earners I expect that the percentage spent online as opposed to on the high street will grow more rapidly still.
A savvy shop keeper should therefore invest in smart technology, build a bigger, better website, rent a warehouse fill it will interesting stock and concentrate on logistics so products can be shipped and signed for the next day.Right? If it is right then the inevitability is that we lose more bricks and mortar retailers, the strong and the flexible survive.
My question is – what is it that you want to see from Snowhome in the future? Over the past 15 years its a question that I’ve never directly asked, just tried to second guess and gone with my instinct while trying to stay true to core principles. What is it that makes you want to leave the warm sofa and browse and buy from real shops ? or would you agree that the future lies in virtual shopping in which case would you be happy if snowhome was a web only business? What would you like to see more of ( or less of ) ? Should we be selling furniture, bespoke gifts, wallpaper, electrical goods, magazines, coffee, prints, products from emerging designers,offering evening classes, should we open a Snowhome bar ???…
…all just food (and drink) for thought. Snowhome remains open ended and adaptable. I genuinely thank all that have supported us and continue to do so, without loyal customers businesses simply cannot grow or develop.