- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.p5VL3RkF.dpuf The Old Lucketts Store Blog: Letters to Lucketts - setting up a group retail shop

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letters to Lucketts - setting up a group retail shop

Suzanne & Amy's space
This week's Letter to Lucketts is about having the tough, but necessary, discussion on how to set up a rent and vendor charging structure in a group retail shop. 

Suzanne has some great advice on this one, be sure to read on!

The Question

I am in the process of opening a little shop in my area. Do you have any advice on how to handle vendors, do you get a percentage?  Do they work hours? Any advice you could give would be appreciated.  ~Teresa

The Answer

That’s a great question.

First, you need to be somewhat clear in your head what your shop is about. There are great advantages to having a group shop. First and foremost is that the expenses are now shared through all the people selling in the store. That one factor takes an enormous amount of pressure off of the store owner. If any one person falls ill, goes on vacation, or just has a bad month sales wise, it is not going to be the demise of the whole store. I often talk about the deep, strong foundation we have built at Lucketts through all of the talented vendors we have…they’re like blocks in a wall, it’s so solid, that if any single one went out, the building would still stand.

Pat from Twig House's vendor space
The most important thing when choosing who you will allow to be part of your business is that you are somewhat aligned. By aligned I mean their style has to be representative of what you want your store to look like. Their personality has to be on the same page as yours, and their work ethic has to be lined up with yours. Otherwise you are not going to be happy… it’s better to go it alone, than to try to work with people that you are not aligned with.

We have had every combination of personality types here at Lucketts…I have learned the ultra hard way that it's better to fill the space myself and wait for the right person to come by, than to put just anyone in there for the rent… I have even had ultra-talented people who had fabulous stuff, that just weren’t team players, or were snippy to customers, and it just wasn’t worth it. I really need to be happy and joyous when I’m at my store, and if I’m not, I don’t even want to go there.

Regarding how to handle the financial aspect of having different vendors, I have also tried many variations over the years. What I have found works best is to keep things cut and dry. If you do a "work for space" scenario, you don't always get the best customer service people behind the counter. And even though I don’t believe I’ve had a lot of this…you open yourself up to the counter person steering the customers to their products versus the other vendors.  So I think its best to have vendors who want to be vendors and counter people who want to be counter people.

Old seltzer bottles and twine wrapped book
Lucketts charges rent for each of the rooms in the store based on square footage. We then charge a 10% sales commission on each vendors’ sales. That way, any vendor who sells more than another, hence, takes up more of our resources, bags, time, moving guys etc. pays more by virtue of the 10% we take at the end of the payout period.

I wish you the best of luck in your venture..and will be happy to answer any further questions…I’m just trying to not make this too long! Sometimes I just don’t know when to be quiet! 

Lucketts has been the most work and biggest joy of my life, I literally am grateful every day that I get to do what I love with a great group of people and am able to make others happy…what more could anyone ask for!


Go Ahead, Ask Us Anything!
{photo credit: Katherine Cobb}
We are inviting our readers to write in to our blog and ask us questions.  Suzanne will be leaning upon her 17 years in business as owner of the Lucketts Store to help tackle your questions about what it's like to run your own small creative business.

Amy, our lead designer at the Design House will also be open to readers sending in Design questions you may have regarding your home.  We will ask for you to send in photos of the trouble areas and specific questions for Amy, and she’ll do her best to help you out.

If you have any questions and would like our humble advice, send your questions (and pictures) to luckettstore@gmail.com (please reference “Letters to Lucketts” in the subject line & in your note, so we know its intended for the blog column.)


  1. Sorry, off your subject. Just wanted you to know that I received "the crown". Oh my goodness it is wonderful. My Sister in Law knows the story and is honored. Our next trip home I will give it to her. Thank you so much.

    1. The Old Lucketts StoreThursday, January 24, 2013

      You're welcome Debby! Glad to hear it arrived and all is well!

  2. This post was very interesting to us! My mom and I just started a small decor business and we are looking for what our next step will be! I would love to see more posts similar to this one. You can check us out on Etsy. www.etsy.com/shop/thepinkfinch

    1. Very cool! We wish you much success! If you have specific questions in mind, you can always email luckettstore@gmail.com with "blog question" in the subject line and we'll get someone to answer it for you.


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