Who is your best business ally? With increasing competition from online discounters and studios that sell apparel directly to students, many independent dance retailers are finding that their strongest partners are fellow dance storeowners. In “Making Connections” (page 24), we speak with several dance storeowners who have discovered the value of connecting with other retailers. These retailers turn to one another for advice and guidance, to brainstorm new business ideas and, on rare occasions, to help one another fulfill customer requests. Read their stories and get inspired to strengthen your own connections throughout the industry.
Speaking of relationships, this time of year is ideal for connecting with local school groups to lay the foundation for the coming year of performance-related sales. From high school dance teams to musical theater departments at local universities, it’s crucial to position your store to capture sales opportunities that exist beyond the local studio scene. Turn to Seen & Heard (page 36) to learn how five veteran dance storeowners cater to local school groups.
Finally, you won’t want to miss our feature on pointe shoe fittings (page 22). Every retailer understands the value in providing a memorable first pointe shoe fitting experience, but this month we’re exploring how to create valuable fitting experiences for seasoned pointe dancers. Giving these savvy customers the level of service they want and need will keep them returning to your store for all of their dance footwear needs.