We are officially in autumn now and Del (my husband and the apprentice jeweler) and I have just come back from the Crossover Pawn Expo at Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL. The experience was...eye-opening. We realized that our business model, which has worked for the family for the last 24 years, is no longer going to keep us around. The very last thing we want is to be in the same boat as ToysRus or Bennigans or any of the other big name brick-and-mortar companies who have been going under over the last decade.
In our store, we have noticed a decline in foot traffic for the purpose of purchasing...well....anything. The days of needing something and beating feet to track it down are over. The days of searching websites and two-day delivery are here. We realized during the Expo that just being a brick-and-mortar store is never going to be sustainable. At least not for sales.
That being said, our jewelry repairs are through the roof! In the month of August, we had over 1,000 items come through the store to be repaired...and that doesn't even count our watch batteries. The service industry is booming! We have taken something that used to be a side note of the business and have turned it into our main source of traffic. I'd like to take a second, here, and give a humongous/ginormous/out-of-this-world THANK YOU! to all of our customers that have entrusted us with the care of your jewelry over the months, over the years, and over the decades we have been open. Your trust and recommendations are what have gotten us this far and all of us here can never say, "thank you" enough.
From this point on, we have decided to come into the light and into the 21st century. We will be upgrading our computer system in the next few months so that we can more efficiently help our customers. Once we switch, we will be able to better connect with our customers regarding pawns, repairs, lay-aways, promotions, and even give out a few little benefits for our return folks. We hope to increase our online presence with more Blog-posts to keep you all updated, put some of our merchandise online so that you can shop from home and, in general, being much more available to our customers via the internet. Our goal is that over the next year, each customer who does business in our store will be entered into our software and begin earning point towards in store events, promotions, sales, and services. We hope to be able to offer everyone the same great service we have been but BETTER.
Keep in touch, folks. The winds are changing for better days to come.
It's been a couple of weeks since I put anything up but don't fret! It's been a busy few weeks here at Community Pawn. We're making a number of changes and those should be put into place in the next few months.
We now have a gentleman (one of the owners' brother) fixing clocks and watches full time for us...as for Matt. We're upgrading our security system just like we upgraded the computers a few months back. We're also looking at upgrading our software again to work out some of the kinks.
The most recent, and useful for our customers, is we have implemented out Promotions page! Every month or so, we're going to update this page to give our customers an even better deal. Be sure to pay attention to some of the stipulations on the bottom of each of the coupons because we're going to try to be specific to make sure there isn't much confusion.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We will get back to you within 48 hours during the week but the weekends are a bit off limits. Saturdays and Sundays are days when the internet is just not our friend.
We're getting prepared for St. Patrick's Day around here. If you stop by, make sure to look at our jingle bells on the front door and see if you can spot the leprechaun!
Until next time,
Well, it's a nice time of year. Income taxes are finally coming in, the weather is beautiful, and we here at Community Pawn are happy to be seeing new and familiar faces walking in our doors.
Valentine's Day has officially past us by and we are happy to say that we've been a part of yet another couple's happily-ever-after. A gentleman stopped by back around Christmas and started setting things up with us to propose to his girlfriend of three years. He popped the question on Valentine's Day and the two of them have already started planning their wedding.
This is one of the things we love most. We get to hear people's stories and become part of their lives. We really don't just want customers but extended family.
Saint Patrick's Day is the next big holiday coming up and we're currently working on getting up a variety of our seasonal pieces up on a new page for everyone. The theme? Think GREEN!
Claddagh rings and pendants have been amassed all of our emeralds are clustered, and we even have some specialty pieces I'm going to make every come in to see.
We're excited and we hope that everyone out there come in to see some of our pretty things!
Until next week,
Well this is the week of love. Thursday is Valentine's Day and we have been super busy!
Have you been one of the people who has gotten your gift from us? We have a variety of pieces which are perfect for this season.
Reds, pinks, hearts, love. Gotta love it!
For the non-traditionals: we have a variety of items for you, as well. A leaf-blower says "love," right?
Keep checking our website for updates and promotions. We're hoping to get a page up soon that is dedicated to the season and what sales we have going on at any given time.
Have a lovely week!
Here is the first installment.
Back in August (2012), we decided to bite the big bullet and upgrade our computer system. For those you hadn't been to see us before then, we had been working on a DOS based program, including outdated computers, that was put into place when we first opened back in November of 1993. I'd say it was it was about time for some new equipment and software!
Now, even a few months later, we are STILL working bugs out of the system. There have been a few problems associated with this new fangled thing, but, for the most part, the upgrade has been great! We have better security, all of our information is in the same place, and the computers now have applications which make our lives so much easier.
That being said, we sill appreciate when our customers understand that we are learning a new system; new in the grand scheme of things.
On the lighter side of things:
We have started our Facebook page, gotten a Twitter feed up and running, AND we have this new, pretty website for everyone to look at! Progress is being made after 19 years!
We also have an Ebay store that we're trying to use to move some of our more obscure items: like a metal detector or high-end cameras. We post new items weekly and are willing to work with our buyers so that everyone is happy. Employing the same mindset online as we have in-store for the entire time we've been operating.
Feel free to always contact us with questions, comments, and/or concerns. Soon, we are going to get a poll up and running, asking you, our customers, what YOU would like to see on sale each month. Birthstones, holiday pieces, tools, jewelry, CDs, DVDs: the list goes on! Let us know.
Until next time,
Hi there, I am the Assistant Manager here at Community Pawn. I'm also the owners' daughter. I'll be posting on a regular basis (I'm gonna try!) to try to keep everyone up to date on some of the things going on in our store. Happy reading!