In the early days of our existence, way back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we made every effort to adapt to the changing nature of retail… The days when you opened your doors at 9:00a.m. and waited for customers to come to you were gone. Instead, we adopted a more aggressive (by our standards) approach in our ‘marketing’. Of course, up ‘til then we simply called it ‘advertising’…
Newspapers and the print media were our primary focus and we also had success with RTE’s local station “Cork Local Radio” as it catered for a more ‘mature’ audience while the plethora of ‘pirate’ stations targeted teens and early 20’s. We also tried some ‘direct’ marketing in the form of leaflet drops and researched other means of getting the message about Household Linens out there.
What has changed in the 40 years since we first opened our doors in 1977..? I suppose every thing has changed and yet – nothing has changed! Certainly, the advent of the internet has dramatically changed the nature of advertising / marketing as Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest and the multitude of other ‘apps’ has changed how we communicate (although we do still use “De Paper” from time to time). Whereas before we had competition from other bricks & mortar stores we must now compete with faceless websites like Amazon and a million others. So that’s all changed, changed utterly, but what hasn’t changed is our core principle of giving our customers “all you need for a good night’s sleep”.
I am more conscious now, than at any time in the past, of the dangers facing small independent retailers like ourselves. My brother Finbarr owns and runs the “Newbridge Silverware” shop just up the road from me <https://newbridgesilverware.com/stockists>; my friend Wyon Stansfeld owns and runs “Pinocchio’s” toy shop in Paul St. <http://www.pinocchios.ie> and I have many friends up and down Oliver Plunkett St. who face the same problems every day – so what do we do to stay in business..?
More than ever, I believe that what we have got to offer is a more personalised service that people wont find, no matter how hard or how long they might look, on the internet. You want a pillow or duvet – we’ll give you the benefit of our forty years of experience; you want a set of sheets or a duvet cover – we’ll explain the different qualities and what might suit you best. That level of interaction, that one to one nature is what sets us apart and has made us what we are – unique in Cork and unique to Cork and if we were to start selling online, how much of that unique service we offer on a one to one basis with our customers would suffer..? Would we lose sight of all that has made us what we are..?
So, for now, we wont be selling any products online… Sure, we’ll put up some pictures of our new designs occasionally and we’ll put up the odd post or bit of advice on Facebook or Twitter but, for the most part, we’ll be here inside the shop selling duvets and pillows and sheets – it’s what we do best.
Give us a call next time you’re in town…