In Becky Pennington’s 23-plus years with Seasonal Concepts, the store moved three times within Graceland Shopping Center.
“And every time, people thought we went out of business,” the operations manager said last week.
Therefore, when higher rent forced the owners to relocate out of the Clintonville shopping center altogether and move to a vacant storefront on Morse Road, all involved held their collective breath. The move for the 40-year-old enterprise was competed Sept. 1, just prior to the start of the holiday months.
Everyone has let their breath out by now.
“It went much better than what we had projected,” Pennington said. “We picked up a lot of new customers.”
Most existing customers either followed or found Seasonal Concepts at its new home, the former location of Buddy’s Carpets at 980 Morse Road, in time to buy their Christmas items, she said.
All in all, Pennington said, the move has been a good one for Seasonal Concepts.
“We’re very happy,” she said.
The relocation wasn’t far from the store’s longtime home at Graceland, but as Pennington discovered, shoppers sometimes can’t find a store even when it moves within the same shopping center.
The move was also to a smaller space, from 12,000 square feet to about 7,500 square feet. However, Pennington said the display area for the store, which switches its merchandise to high-end patio furniture even before the first hint of spring is in the air, remains about the same. Coupled with the 16-foot ceilings in the Morse Road location, it feels about the same or larger, Pennington added.
“Most of our costumers who have come in and known us for a lot of years think it’s a bigger space,” she said.
The product line for the holiday season remained unchanged, save for some additions, as will be the case in mid-March when preseason sales of patio items begin.
“We want to do what our customers love and what has kept us in business for so long,” Pennington said. “We’re the same employees, the same concept – we’re just in a new location.”
Along with finding some new customers, including some who had never heard of the 40-year-old business, Pennington said the move has been greeted with a great deal of excitement from the business community in and around Morse Road.
“The whole thing’s really positive,” Pennington said. “I haven’t had one negative – except for a few people who just don’t like change.”