One of Canada’s Oldest Retail Stores - since 1895
129 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON N5A 3H1
"The ability for our business to access the STAT grant helped us tremendously to plan for various retail scenarios as a result of potential Covid related lockdowns heading into what is typically our busiest season, Christmas . We were able to use the funding to create our first ever digital magazine - an online selling tool that we were able to share across all of our digital platforms (website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) to communicate and help our customers if the event they were not be able to physically enter our store due to provincial restrictions."
Carrie and Jeremy Wreford, Co-Owners
The project was basically twofold- one aspect covered our online presence and promotion, and the other contributed to the purchase of some in-store equipment to help us manage store capacity.
We improved our online shop by adding a significant level of web inventory, integrated our e-commerce website with our instore POS system so that we could better manage inventory levels, and an enhanced social media presence and creation of some short films/commercials. The biggest and perhaps most effective project we have undertaken with the help of the grant was the creation of the first ever online catalogue/magazine which links to our webstore. It has been very well received by customers and was so well received that we will continue to use this approach going forward.
We also installed a digital counter system which monitors store capacity and lets our customers know when it is safe to enter. This has been very helpful in allowing our staff to manage store capacity without having to take one person off the sales floor to keep count, as well as reassure our customers that we are appropriately managing in-store allowable customer numbers to ensure safety and comfort levels.
• Because of the STAT grant, we were able to maintain full time hours for one employee by having her work 25- 35% of her work week on the website.
• Hired 3 new part-time people for the Christmas season and possibly beyond.
• Adding to this was the use of 4 freelance designers, photographers and videographers/editors who contributed to our digital projects.
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