Evaluating the factors that into the success of another small business could provide you that vital missing link to build your own successful small business.Arc’s value village story reeks of persistence having been established in 1982 it is very likely this pet project gradually became increasingly interesting for the duo that manage and run the business. By 2008 the company was bringing in revenue in the range of $6 million – the figure leapt by 40% in 2013 to a whopping $8.5 million.
This is very impressive for a business that seeks to provide employment opportunities for people with various physical and developmental disabilities. It goes without saying that seeking finance to run the venture itself must have been quite a challenge owing to its objectives. The company employs 233 workers in full time and part time capacities. The company has since 1982 managed to raise $25 million for the Arc’s programs that seek to assist people with developmental and intellectual disability.
Ata glance the company has five shops and offers 15,000 new items in stock daily and resells and recycles 3 million items annually. In 2013 the company had 1million store visitors – people who come to browse, donate orbuy. So how does a thrift store selling second hand items become so successful? The company has worked to make each store exciting and interesting to shop at – kind of a mix between traditional shopping and thrift stores. The locations are always clean and fun to visit and they never sell at a location twice to keep the customers interested. Owing to this shoppers can have fun shopping asthe experience provides an opportunity for shopping, people and the planet all at one go.
With the proceeds from business the Arc organization assist people with specific disabilities in helping them and their families’ access education, access to healthcare, access to housing, access and preparing them to work and prevention of abuse. The store also encourages recycling and works hard to find new uses for clothing and household items donated to the store.
In its initial store the management found that pairing clients with stylists who would help find items that suited their tastes led to greater sales. In general it was observedthat whena stylist assisted in decision making customers generally spent as much as $80 per trip instead of the normal $15. In addition to this the company placed great emphasis on quality with each store havinga “haute spot” – specifically for designerbrands.
In addition to fixed stores the business also has mobile trucks where sales can be made at specific location during festivals and major social events. Another very important factor that contributed to the huge success can be attributed to smart marketing and the “be a villager” campaign that formed the heart of the company marketing campaign. Like major retail stores the company started offering shoppers with points which they could use to gain even greater benefit with each visit. The key to their success they say was seeking to do their charitable work with retail mind-set.