We covered the big retail centers, but we also wanted to find out how the locally owned and operated retailers are doing nowadays. So we polled a few of them. We found their answers enlightening.
How is your business going post-Recession? Do you feel your business is in a healthy position for the future?
“We were not affected right away by the Recession. We only saw a dip in sales the last couple of years. Our Redmond store is strong, and our Issaquah store is doing well. It is in a newer area, so there is less traffic, but customers really like what we have. I’ve already seen that things are getting busier out there. We’ve added 14 lines … and we’re getting a really great response. People are looking for something new. We are optimistic about the future of Opal Boutiques. We are developing great relationships in Issaquah, adding new ones in Redmond, and have loyal customers who look to us for something special.” ~Shannen Wyman, owner of Opal Boutiques in Redmond and Issaquah
“Our business is definitely doing well; in fact, it’s fantastic. It is driven by our loyal customer base, but we are seeing new customers too. A lot of it has to do with the growth of Bellevue with companies like Microsoft, and all of the business towers opening has helped. With Bellevue’s growth, we are excited about the possibilities of expanding.” ~Rachel Nov, owner of La Ree Boutique in Bellevue
“I opened Simplicity Decor in the beginning of 2006, and our business has increased every year since then. I even opened Simplicity ABC on Park Lane in early 2012. With a lot of uncertainty of the world in general, I felt that consumers were cautious and looking for more for their bucks, but they are still buying. The challenge for small business will be how to be current and go with the flow of consumer behaviors. My business is in a healthy position for the future. I am … trying a lot of new approaches, including social media and a printed catalog. I believe that I just need to be where consumers are in order to stay current.” ~A Suraphong, owner of Simplicity Decor and Simplicity ABC in Kirkland
“With a combination of an improving economy and excellent summer weather, customers have been coming in excited and energized. Many people are remodeling and upgrading their homes. There is a trend toward integrating outdoor and indoor living spaces, so people are enjoying their gardens and eating outside more. We are optimistic about the Puget Sound area and are looking forward to being part of the upcoming holiday season.” ~Jens Molbak, owner of Molbak’s in Woodinville