Over the years, many, many people have asked what it's like to run a retail store. As such, since I'm now blogging (can you believe it!?!), I thought I'd give you a snapshot view! This will be a twenty-five day series, with one post per day between now and Christmas...hopefully!
I'd be honored if you share it with your friends and spread the word about The Menagerie. This is my 34th Christmas as a retailer, and, I must say, the past four years have been the hardest. For those of you who have been with me all this time, thank you for your loyalty! And for those of you who are newcomers, thank you! You are what make us great!
A Day in the Life of a Retailer during the Holidays: Day One
My days begin at the crack of dawn - literally. Before I'm even out of bed, I'm on my phone checking emails and text messages. There are always messages from employees and vendors, but my favorite messages - of course - are the personal ones from customers/friends. They are one and the same for me, and, my hope is, they all consider me their friend!
I often tell people I have the luckiest job in the world, and I do. I get to help people find the perfect gift, hopefully for everyone on their lists! During December, you can almost always find me at the store, though sometimes I'm at Hobby Lobby trying to find more ribbon for our store decorations (I confess). I NEVER buy enough ribbon! (Did you know that last November and December we wrapped over 3,500 gifts!?! All with our complimentary gift wrap service, of course!)
The trick during December is making sure our inventory levels hold. Manufacturers have started carrying less stock, so it's a constant balance to make sure we order enough. This year alone, we've sold through three orders of some of our most popular stock! That's why I always tell people: if you love it, buy it. Don't put it off.
Therefore, much of my day is spent monitoring stock...in my head! The trick is, at the end of the day, remembering what is selling and what needs to be reordered a.s.a.p. (That's the 7 a.m. phone call to my East Coast vendors the next morning!)
Check back tomorrow for more about maintaining balance during the holiday season, and, on day three, how we find the unique gifts we carry during the holidays.
Hope I'll hear from you about any of these thoughts. Leave a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Along the way it is you who have taught me valuable lessons about gracious living. Thank you!