Store of the Month September 2023: Moniques
At Moniques in Tierp, we meet Maria and Lisa, mother and daughter who have owned and run this store since 2016. Maria has worked in the shop since 1979 and has a full understanding of what her customers like. We sat down for a chat to learn how Maria identifies a good supplier-store relationship and what she considers the most important aspect of running a physical store.
Can you share a tip on something you did to develop your business?
We develop by continuing to offer the personal service we have always done. Recently, we have noticed that we are getting more and more customers from outside of town who come to us to shop. We have noticed that many customers miss the personal service and are very grateful for our help and honest advice. We are always honest when we give our advice – in a nice way, of course, as we think it is important that it really turns out well for the customer. We have also noticed that being visible on social media and having an updated feed has made a big difference in our customer flow.
What identifies as a good collaboration between supplier and store?
I believe that a good collaboration between us and the suppliers is identified by the fact that there must be a good dialogue between us and that the supplier is responsive and listens to what it is that we are looking for. It is important to get to know each other, so they gain an understanding of us and our store, what we stand for and what we and our customers are looking for and like. The customer base can differ greatly depending on where in the country you have your store and whether it is a large city or a small town.
What do you consider to be the most essential aspect when it comes to the physical store?
That the store feels welcoming and that you get a good first impression is extremely important. We want to offer everyone personal service and the help they want. Being in a physical store has many advantages, you can get personal service and the customer has the opportunity to feel different qualities, try different sizes and compare them to each other, and under the same roof, you can try different models to find the right fit.
What is your biggest lesson from running a store?
Our biggest lesson from running a store is that it is important to make the right purchases and the right number of items but also to be careful with the budget. Too many goods in the store can result in that it can feel crowded and it can be perceived as messy, which can make it difficult for customers to find what they are looking for. We need to be responsive to what our customers are looking for, that is something we always take with us when we make purchases. In addition, we always try to see our customers’ needs before ours. Following fashion and picking up what’s trendy is something we think is important.
What we have also learned is that there is a lot of work with orders, invoices, accounting and marketing. Which is an important part of running a store that you might not have thought about before.
What kind of strategy do you have when it comes to your assortment?
Our strategy when it comes to our assortment in the store is to think broadly. Our goal is that three generations should have the opportunity to come in and shop together. All three should be able to find something that they like, both grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. Having both the slightly trendier, the basic and the traditional means that most people are always able to find something they are looking for. We also try to keep a wide range of sizes, as we have some brands that start at size 34/XS and some that go up to size 52/XXL. Our assortment contributes to the fact that many people go to us as they think it is cosy that they can shop together, even if you have slightly different styles and sizes.