I’d like to have a real heart-to-heart talk. Don’t worry if you’re here for the shoes—there is fun and fashion thrown in. I figured I owed you, our loyal customers, a serious discussion on the state of our store right now; and even more over-arching—the state of retail and local business.
First the good news: we’re doing okay. I’m not going to lie; we aren’t going to set any records this year and things are challenging. When we closed from mid-March until the end of May, we hoped that we would regain some of that lost business during the typically slower summer months, but that’s not what happened. Having a robust fall selling season is more important than ever. How can you help? Shop early! Don’t wait because, as a country, we don’t know what the next few months are going to look like. And I’m not just talking about Plum Bottom. If you want to support small local businesses, get out and get shopping now because we really need a great fall shopping season if we want to stay strong.
A fabulous bootie--like this one from Antelope--gives shoppers a reason to add something unique to her shoe wardrobe from Plum Bottom. Shop Antelope here now.
If I can impart a philosophy for those of you who intend to shop local... temper your expectations. I’ve been out there in the community, and I can attest to the fact that local stores are fully stocked with beautiful clothes and gift items. BUT—this year is different than others. Supply chain issues are affecting every kind of business. Certain brands may not be available at all. Other brands have delivered merchandise to retailers, but they did not stock inventory for us to go back and re-order. Even some of your favorite brands that could consistently be re-ordered may not be available if you don’t get them now. If your intention is to buy local and shop small, browse the amazing things that we small businesses DO have, and buy it now.
It may seem too early to think about winter weather boots--not this year! Usually we can re-order Eric Michael boots like these into January, but pick them up early this year to make sure you get your pair!
The second bit of good news: we had already laid the groundwork for a great website even before COVID hit. That means we are as ready as we’ll ever be to reach both local customers who don’t feel like venturing out, as well as distant customers who may never actually visit our physical stores. We’ve done the work of creating a unique website the represents Plum Bottom well. By offering collections for those with bunions, wide or narrow feet, or who need additional arch support we’ve tried to help you make confident decisions when you can’t try them on in person. We’ve also developed trend collections that help you shop in a way that best suits your personal style. What we could use from you is word of mouth! Send the link to our website to three or four friends who live out of the area that you think would appreciate our selection. We would also love it if you would leave a review on our website for shoes you bought from us. That goes a long way in helping people discover our website, and in creating consumer confidence in the products!
We set ourselves apart by resourcing brands that you won't come across elsewhere--like this Pedro Anton loafer, made in Spain.
The third bit of good news: Our 2nd store in Camp Hill is on its way, though not as soon as we anticipated. Construction is really humming now, but we don’t anticipate opening until the new year. This means that most of the fall/winter season will have passed before we have our grand opening. Can’t stand the wait? Come visit our fully stocked Harrisburg store, or shop online now. It will be worth the wait to see all the beautiful new spring shoes in a brand-new store!
The main takeaway: if you want your favorite local businesses to be around for the long term, keep shopping! Online or in-store Plum Bottom is fully stocked with gorgeous fall shoes, boots and accessories. Just make sure to shop early to claim your favorite new pair!