Close
 

A Q&A with Hastings' the Little Red Bookshop

  • News
  • May 5, 2016
  • Elly Strang
A Q&A with Hastings' the Little Red Bookshop

What’s business been like for the little red bookshop lately? I saw in Hawkes Bay Today you had an increase in spending at the end of last year?

We are a comparatively new business, under five years old so we are still building our brand, and we are still being discovered by people; so for us every year is a step forward. 

We have faced very tough competition, from both the internet giants and e-reader technology, but have noticed a subtle but distinct revival in people wanting to experience a real bricks-and-mortar shop, and, of course, hold an actual book in their hands.

Whats the state of retail like in Hastings at the moment? Are there any challenges you and other retailers are facing?

There are days when the street is just deserted, which can be a little disheartening. Though in Hastings this situation is exacerbated by having an incredibly long main street, and the positioning of big block retail on the outer edge of the CBD, meaning some people need never actually 'go to town'.

We find spending to be very seasonal, with a definite increase in customer numbers over the Christmas and summer holidays and a distinct falling away by April. Luckily we are able to balance things out with internet sales.

Have any initiatives by town stakeholders lately helped with those challenges?

The introduction of free parking has been an excellent move. It allows customers to browse without the niggle of worrying about getting a parking ticket though there is a time limit, so they still need to keep an eye on the clock.

It is always good to know that the Hastings Business Association is there, putting forward initiatives with the council, giving a voice to the retailers and in effect, working for the people of Hastings to create a pleasant and vibrant city centre which is to everyones' benefit.

What are the advantages of being an independent store in a smaller town? Do you think being successful comes down to fostering that sense of community and loyalty in customers?

We have an excellent base of very loyal locals, but also find that a sizable number of our customers are visitors to the Bay, often here for business, but also younger folk visiting their parents and family. 

I find people are actively looking for independent shops, they are looking for that special and unique shopping experience. 

We do what we do, we do what we know and people seem to like it! A sense of community is the result of genuine interaction and activity. And yes, the reward is loyalty and support from our customers.

Do you have any tips for other provincial retailers on how to be successful?

 Here in the provinces we have a slower pace and more time. It allows us to interact with our customers, to chat, to get to know them, locals and visitors alike appreciate that, and they will return and they do recommend us to others. 

It also means we have the time to slowly build an online presence that complements rather than competes with our store.

In the end is all about creating and fostering a narrative and a history around your business and your town, something that will resonate with people who like to feel, maybe now more than ever, that they are part of something 'real' and tangible.

  • This interview was part of a feature on provincial retailing published in issue 743 of NZRetail Magazine. 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more
 
 
News

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...

 
 
News

Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...

 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more
 
 

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more
 

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}