Our store, The Hiker Box, is located in the heart of downtown Eagle River. Once someone is here and walking down Wall street, they cannot miss us.
Unless we are covered in snow. Ours has the V awning with the truck in front.
The downside to downtown is that there is a Hwy 70/45 bypass. But we see our potential customers as the summer vacationers, who often will take at least one trip in to grab some ice cream (across the street) or homemade fudge (right next door) or a souvenir (the rest of the our side of the block).
Our store front is recessed a bit from the sidewalk with a huge awning. We plan hang a sign from the awning and put benches at end walls. We have a nice display window area – the door is offset from the middle of the opening so on one side of it is regular store space and on the other is a nice big, deep display area where we can definitely fit a tent plus other gear set-up.
I’m a hiker, not a photographer. Obviously.
Besides the location and the size (22 feet wide by umpteen feet deep – there is a false wall about halfway back to provide storage and office space on the main floor but we also have the basement if we ever want to expand the store floor space), we are excited about these rough hew log awning fixtures through out the store. It feels very outdoorsy.
We are remodeling the false wall. More details on that later.
What didn’t feel outdoorsy was the white slat board installed almost everywhere. And so we made the decision that no one in the retail business would ever do – we took most of it down.
Tom’s ingenious system to remove the top panels. Slat board is HEAVY.
(Slat board is like the holy grail of display. Or so says everyone we’ve spoken to. We’ve left it up in the back walls.)
Behind the slat wall is beautiful dark red wood boards. There are lots of display options left in the basement from several past tenants. Mostly clothing racks and we aren’t carrying any clothing besides socks and hats right now but we can probably make stuff work. (Several nearby stores have lots of outdoor clothing options so we are going to be careful and choosey on what we end up carrying. We want to compliment, not compete.)
Dressing rooms at the ready when we do take the apparel plunge!
We have some items in stock, but until the orders from our two biggest vendors (Big Agnes & Kelty) we don’t have enough to truly justify being open. We are finishing up our remodel of the false wall with a goal of having displays and product on the floor by the end of this week.
I will probably blog more about the store, as it will soon suck all my life up and I won’t have anything else to talk about. If you are interested in seeing what else we’re up to, you can check out The Hiker Box website, follow us on twitter (@hikerboxllc), and like us on facebook. Right now I manage the facebook page and Tom handles the twitter account. I also tweet via @InProgressJess and some of that is hiking/store related. But some of it is regular old Jessica In Progress with a 140 character limit. If you’re into that sort of thing.