Texas Friendship on Display
This year, the Creative Display Contest was delightful — the number of incredible merchandise display submissions was truly astounding. Thank you retailers for sharing the talent you have showcased in your stores. This year, gift manufacturer Kikkerland sponsored the contest and provided the winner with a $500 gift certificate.
Our readers also were very involved and provided important input through the online voting process. With a record number of voters responding to this year’s competition, readers selected their favorite entry from the 10 finalists, featured in our Winter issue and online, and ultimately selected the winner — Vickie’s Gifts in Roscoe, Texas.
Vickie’s Gifts is owned by Koti Lindsey, the second generation owner of the store. Vickie Haynes, Koti’s mother, founded the store 22 years ago. “Vickie’s Gifts began out of healing through a tragedy. My brother passed away in 1996 suddenly,” shared Koti.
“She bought the Justice of the Peace office, which was about 800 square feet at that time. She poured her heart into our little shop. She healed through serving our community and her customers,” Koti said. “She grew by word of mouth and soon we had to add on (to the store). We’ve now added on to our building seven times and are now 6,000 square feet.”
The small western Texas town of Roscoe is home to less than 1,500 people with a quaint main street shopping experience. Customers are both local and regional — Vickie’s Gifts has even become a destination for travelers passing through.
“Most of our customers come from surrounding towns and are travelers, so changing our displays and keeping things fresh and new is very important because our customers made us their destination,” Koti noted. “Whether they are passing through and made us a side stop, or they came specifically to us, they have taken the time to go out of their way to see us, so I try very hard to make sure there is always something new to see and that things always look different.”
The state’s motto is “Friendship,” which embodies the relationships this retailer is able to form with her customers. Koti detailed more about the store’s product mix, its uniqueness and display techniques in an exclusive interview.
What kind of a product mix do you carry?
KL: We carry many different lines and categories including home décor, gifts, clothing, accessories, bath and body, kitchen items, baby items and we even have a small “man cave.”
What makes your store different from the rest?
KL: The most important thing we do at Vickie’s Gifts is create long-lasting relationships with our customers! We have fun events each month to engage our customers and give them something enjoyable to come to and engage in on social media. Customer service is what we do best. Our customers are a part of our family. We do our best to treat each person with the time and care we would give our best friend if she walked through the door. Clients can shop in person in our store or online with us through our website or Facebook VIP group. We try to establish relationships with each individual.
How do you use social media to engage your clientele?
KL: We do live videos to show our new arrivals and displays in our VIP group on Facebook that customers can join just by finding our page www.facebook.com/vickiesgiftsinroscoe … this VIP group has become a huge part of our business and another way we can reach people and show them the unique things we are doing at Vickie’s!
How would you describe your display and merchandising style?
KL: When I am asked how I describe my display style, I always find it difficult to put a name to it. My son calls it “KOTIQUE!” — it’s pretty unique to me. I love mixing vintage, rustic or antique items with new decor that I find at market. I try to stay current with what is trending in the industry, but definitely add my own touches to each display. I think many things can make a display effective, but mostly it’s a feeling … I think a great display evokes emotion.
Is one person responsible for displays or is it a team effort?
KL: I rotate and redecorate my displays every two to three weeks and have new inventory arriving daily. About two times a year, I transform the store; once in January after our big sale, and once in July/August to begin transforming the store for fall and Christmas. I have 14 part-time employees. I am the only full-time worker at my store and I do most of the displays on my own, but it is such a team effort because the girls do so much that allows me to be free to merchandise.
What is the most unique fixture in your store right now?
KL: The cattle trough is probably our most unique fixture in the store … and by far my favorite. It was a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband. Our customers love it and it gets a lot of attention in our store and on social media when I move it to a new location or redecorate it! We have added another trough in a different shape because of its popularity.
In your opinion, what makes a display effective?
KL: A display should make someone want to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee in the space, or simply make them smile. I think they should be able to envision the products in their home or think of someone that they would want to gift it to.
What display advice would you share with other retailers?
KL: The best advice I could give on displaying is to first of all, buy what you love because you will be passionate about it. Secondly, think outside of the box, be different, and put your own touches on things to make it your own.