Supporting small business; a family behind a storefront.

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Decided to do something radical in my world tonight and just blog my thoughts and then publish them immediately.

Whats in my head is the recent closing down of a bunch of small and medium sized stores in Australia. From Nature’s Cradle to Bebe (Toorak) and a list of others with rumours of more to follow. Wow my heart and mind have really been feeling those families affected (warm fuzzies to them); and when I had that sentence in my mind I thought, that Australian families are really ALL affected. Is the closure of these stores about the cost of living at the moment and how to get the right balance between work/family plus the way that money works into that conversation? I feel that the need to seek a bargain has had a hand in these closures.

Of course we are not all affected by the closures to the same extent as the poor families whose livelihood must now be found elsewhere after employment loss nor in the same way as a family who might have lost money on a lay-by that they http://tobuyaccutane.com will never see. However this is a topic that we all know about because the crux of it might sit with the need to watch our pennies and find ways to make our dollar stretch further. It feels today more than ever like this reality is having its affect on small business in our industry at least.

We are likely all found at some point (I definitely am) hanging out for that 70 and 80% discount. As a retailer and a consumer, acknowledging this made we wonder what margins most people think the retailer is keeping when they sell a product. For us I wanted to just be transparent about it and say that if I ever offer you a 70 or 80% discount I am most likely losing money on that sale in a big way. Speaking about this is like divulging a secret code I feel like, but how crazy, it shouldn’t really be. In the past I do think most consumers considered wholesale pricing to be around 50% less than marked retail. I am comfortable to share that this is not always the case in today’s market. Particularly when you are a business that chooses to support small scale production as we do ( you can read a GREAT post about why many small scale producers can’t work wholesale pricing in at all over at Dover and Madden).

Yes, indeed as Victoria so eloquently puts it ‘profit’ also doesn’t really mean a clear profit. Of course it means the money that you have to spend on advertising, storage, the costs of running your business such as packaging. For us a percentage of our profit goes to covering the postage costs that we absorb with our flat rate delivery fees. Yet I am growing BB to profit of course as well as that I enjoy interacting with the community. Yes I enjoy that so much but of course, of course not more than being with my own children and without negating the need for me to earn a wage so that I can achieve more quality family time.

I am thinking about all this and pondering more than I ever have, that if we as a community keep our expectations for that deep discount, pressing prices down, one day there will just not be Australian online stores to offer high quality service, local knowledge and experience. There is a burden that comes with managing one or many wholesale accounts and the margin between that and what consumers pay, it goes somewhere, it covers something. A massive level of discounting is simply not sustainable. At BB we will always keep searching for innovative, ethical, stylish product and making that accessible for most Australian families, and hope we can continue to build and grow with your support. We do our best to make sure that you get value in what you pay for with us and we will keep doing our best in this way.

It feels wonderful to have the opportunity to connect and to offer out our thanks and blessings to those who support and nourish BB. You are making a difference to our family and we thank you.

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