First came the food trucks, then came the mobile fashion boutiques. Now, we have the mobile dance boutique. Launched this summer, Micki Samson’s dance-store-on-wheels is the latest embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps our small-but-mighty industry thriving.
Samson, owner of The Dance Shop in Altoona, PA, since 2004, isn’t giving up on brick-and-mortar retail. Her 3,200-square-foot store is going strong. (Read all about it on page 22.) She’s using her new retrofitted box truck to bring products to potential customers wherever they happen to be—at local studios, community events and more. Samson is going above and beyond to serve her customers, and it’s paying off. When I first spoke to her about the truck in early August, just a few days after she announced it to her customers, she already had eight requests for appearances at local studios. Not too shabby.
Between competition from discount websites and services that allow studios to sell apparel and shoes directly to students—not to mention the still recovering economy—traditional dance retailers are facing many obstacles right now. But it’s encouraging seeing storeowners like Samson, who are rising to the challenge and finding innovative ways to keep their businesses competitive in an ever-changing environment. Bravo!
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What’s your primary source of competition right now? How are you staying competitive in today’s environment? I want to know! Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org!