TOP RETAILER

Circle Arts

Glenda Burrell, Arlene Kennedy, Simon White, co-owners
Tobermory, Ont., Canada

How do this year’s sales compare to recent years’? Are you seeing a consistent decline or a slow improvement?

Circle Arts is holding its own in these difficult economic times. Contributing factors for fewer visitors to this tourist destination include the new requirement of passports for our American neighbors to cross the border into Canada, the higher cost of gas and, of course, the increasing values of the Canadian dollar.

Are you projecting more positive numbers for 2010? What are you doing now to keep customers shopping?

Things are looking up, and we do expect increased numbers next year—where else can you experience this kind of beauty, both in the environment and in the one-of-a-kind creative offerings at Circle Arts? Customers tell us they’ll be back. It’s addictive!

Have you tried any new promotions in the last two quarters?

Winning one of only two Canadian NICHE Top Retailer Awards has brought some welcome broader attention to Circle Arts. It has in turn attracted more artists of quality and clients interested in that ineffable “special something” that we have offered for 40 years.

How has the economy affected your marketing budget?

We have maintained our modest marketing budget for 2010.

What changes did you make to your inventory mix during the economic downturn? What types of items are selling best right now?

We have added more smaller items to the broad range of inventory at Circle Arts—more because of the nature of our tourist-based clientele who favor manageably sized purchases to better fit the available space with their camping gear!

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