Moving the store - part 1

Just another flood - one of many times that we had to do whatever damage control we could. It got so bad that we draped the showcases with plastic tarps every night before closing.

When I opened the store in Aiken (see story) I knew that the location had a bad history with rain coming through the roof. The landlord said it was fixed, and I wanted to believe him. 30 months of progressively greater leakage proved him wrong. My first landlord died and the executors of the estate, despite their sincere efforts, couldn't stop the flow of water every time it rained. Something had to be done.

There were a few buildings for sale in Aiken's business district, but nothing was quite right. One was a perfect layout, but it wasn't on the main street. One was on the main street but needed a huge amount of work. And I wasn't sure I should - or could - buy a building anyway.

A few hundred yards down Laurens Street, the first storefront I'd wanted in town became available. The Clothing Gallery had opened there just before I opened Chris' Camera Center South. Now it was moving/changing/going out of business.

I tracked down the landlord at home over the weekend and struck a deal immediately. Several advantages:

  • there's about 60% more selling space
  • the roof doesn't leak
  • the building is in much better condition
  • the roof doesn't leak
  • the show windows are shallow. Our old location had 15-foot-deep windows, great for showing off mannequins in a clothing store but tough to fill with cameras
  • the roof doesn't leak
  • security is excellent - as a former jewelry store it's built like a fortress
  • and the roof doesn't leaků

We signed a lease the second week in March, effective April 1st. Our target date for the move is April 14th - a Sunday. We're planning to be open at the old store until 5 pm Saturday, and open at the new location at 9:30 am Monday. It's going to be a hectic weekend. Part 2