Despite the challenging economy, you won’t find Sharon Samuels – owner of Sharon’s Fashions, a women’s clothing store in Newton – using discounts to lure customers this holiday season. Instead, Samuels will focus on “helping her customers feel beautiful” as she helps them pick out just the right clothing and accessories for a holiday party or a visit to a resort.
“We have customers who have been shopping with us for 25 years. Once they come in here, they keep coming back,” says Samuels, who feels optimistic about sales this holiday season.
For Samuels and the other small business owners interviewed in Newton, a city a few miles outside Boston, attracting customers isn’t about providing discounts – rather, it’s about providing highly personalized service and selling products that can’t be purchased elsewhere.
Just ask Veronica A. Sagherian, co-owner of Adamas Fine Jewelry, which has provided high-quality custom jewelry to its customers for 14 years. “There are a million jewelry stores out there. We like to sell our jewelry on its quality and value. Higher price isn’t the issue,” says Sagherian, who also feels good about sales this season.
It doesn’t hurt that her store’s custom-designed jewelry has been worn on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” for a few years. “Women love that,” she says. “It gives us a lot of credibility. In fact, it’s become our claim to fame.”
Linda Gulman, owner of Indulge!, a gourmet chocolate store, has done a lot of business during Hanukkah and she expects to get orders for gift baskets from her loyal corporate and walk-in customers. “[Business-wise,] we’re right around where we normally are,” she says.
“It’s times like this that I’m glad I have my own little space. I can do my own thing and make my own hours. Plus, my overhead is low,” says Gulman.
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