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The Changing Face of Business

| Articles, Canyon Country Magazine | February 6, 2014

By Martha Michael
Jeannie Sutton and I are not in Downton Abbey anymore.

Am I saying that one can no longer expect our vintage shop to sell 1920s-era merchandise, or find us sporting flapper dresses, cloche hats and pearls? Banish the thought! What it does mean is that we’ve moved from our abbey-sized storefront (okay, just 700 square feet) into a much smaller space next door.

Like most retail store owners, we’d rather be Downton-sized than down-sized. However, despite the feeling that one is moving backwards, the move to doing business through such devices as Facebook, Ebay, Amazon and Etsy can be a boon to business – not a detriment. While a storefront gets smaller, its Internet presence, or online store, increases.

“The growth of social media has been an incredible way for us to reach our guests,” says Matt Sprecher of Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant that just opened in Canyon Country. “Whether it be through our Buffalo Wild Wings insider email system, Buffalo Circle, which allows us to send special offers to our loyal guests, or local radio stations that are announcing events that will be held at our restaurants, social media has increased the number of avenues that we can communicate with the local communities that we reside in.”

For some businesses, it’s a matter of bringing the same level of service, the same products – just in a different venue or in a different time frame. In recent years, there has been a rise in “stores” that only operate seasonally, quarterly, or bi-annually. They often take over a warehouse or other edifice, and sometimes rent space to various vendors.

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Some recent examples locally are SCV Kids Consignment Sale, Santa Clarita Ski Outlet and Extreme Factory Outlet, a two-day sale carrying a broad array of merchandise, such as purses, hair care, DVDs and gift items.

There is a unique service provided by AMS Fulfillment, a third-party warehousing company located in Valencia. In addition to its business-to-business and business-to-customer packing, product fulfillment and storage services, the enterprise also hosts huge warehouse sales. They are hosted for AMS clients, where customers can make purchases way below retail prices – often selling gently used returns or overstocked items. The firm’s biggest sale is for Toms Shoes, which often draws close to 7,500 shoppers, many camping out the night before. Read a full article about AMS Fulfillment at www.santaclaritalife.com and click on “Tell Me More!”

“We are also going to that format,” says Sutton, my partner at The Living Room Emporium. “We are planning to have a large off-site sale twice a year.”

Another Santa Clarita woman with a penchant for vintage wares has been planning to pull together vendors for semi-annual “flea markets” in the SCV. She is still in the process of shopping for a venue.

The biggest of business entities are making changes. To read about a large chain, which has four SCV stores, that will be closing the doors of two of them, go to www.santaclaritalife.com and click on “Tell Me More.”

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