Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

S Shopper Stories


Transitioning from retail to exclusively online

by Angela Slevin

The Store for Store Owner Natalie East

The Store for Store Owner Natalie East

Whenever a business owner decides to make a big change, like closing a brick-and-mortar store, it is a decision long in the making. Natalie East has been in the business of supplying local stores with fixtures, displays – essentially with most of their needs - for the last six years. But now, it’s time for a change in how she does business. The Store For Stores will soon become an exclusively e-commerce venture. “We have young grandchildren now and many friends we need to make time for! It’s time to do things a little differently,” Natalie says.

Natalie had been with The Store’s forerunner, Dolphin Fixtures, for a decade before opening her own store. She was confident she could succeed. Her college degree was, after all, in marketing, and she had the advantage of experience.

“I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business from the owner, Scott Freeman, during my years at Dolphin Fixtures,” Natalie says. Scott closed his store to build his auction business, Auction757, and is doing exceptionally well.

“I was able to market to Scott’s store display clients and open a retail space twice the size,” Natalie points out. “I built an exceptional team of family members and other caring, hard-working employees who became like family. I couldn’t have achieved the success I did without every one of them.”

“We’ve always had competitive prices
and fantastic customer service,
and that will certainly continue
with our online offerings.”

—Natalie East, Owner

The startling fact is that The Store For Stores had become the only store of its kind in a 199 mile radius. However, the online buying trend seemed to offer an opportunity to create more balance between work and family. 

“I didn’t want to abandon my customers, many of whom I have grown to love,” Natalie explains. “But I really felt that today’s technology could help me create a business plan that would be a win-win for my family and for my clients.” An e-commerce approach would allow her to continue to give advice and deliver quality products at exceptional prices.

 “I am going to regroup and focus online,” the ambitious, hard-working owner reports. “We’ve always had competitive prices and fantastic customer service, and that will certainly continue with our online offerings,” Natalie affirms.

So, what’s next?  Natalie is excited about that. “I have close to $250,000 in inventory. I will liquidate as much as possible myself before I have Auction 757 handle the remainder next month.”  She adds, “We have great bargains for store and home owners alike. We have something for everyone… for those who have merchandise or collectibles to display or organize, and those who sell their art, crafts or jewelry at shows. People are always surprised at the variety of merchandise with multiple uses!  Everyone who likes a deal had better plan to stop in quickly!”

for fabulous sale items

The Store for Stores

1140 Wilson Road
Norfolk, VA 23464