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Advertising and Location

Wendy . Blog Published 07 July 2011

Location! That's the key to success. Or is it?

Are you an entrepreneur? You start with one shop in a great location,good products, friendly personnel, and business acumen. Local advertising + a lot of word of mouth, and your start-up is a success.

Then, before you know it, your territory is being invaded.
Another company backed by a large advertising campaign and they've planted themselves down the block or take over your lease. Your once thriving little business is going under fast.

Think about your favorite coffee house of a few years back. I bet there is a Starbucks there or in the immediate vicinity. Think of your favorite mom-and-pop corner store. It has now, most likely, been replaced by a major chain.

What do you prefer: the small and familiar or the famous mega-chain?
If you'd lived in San Francisco in the 1950's and early 60's, you'd remember a great little toy store on Post Street, two doors down from Union Square. It was local. It was well-loved by San Franciscans of that era. It was considered a big treat to get to go to Ambers Toy Store to pick out a birthday present. Adults went because every kid wanted a "Bring-me from Ambers" from those "Four floors of toys for girls and boys". Occasionally a TV personality like Captain Fortune or Pogo the Clown was there to talk to YOU. What a fun shop! Toys and bikes, Steiff stuffed animals from Germany and Madame Alexander Dolls of Queen Elizabeth from New York. Big red fire trucks and electric trains in the window, and books and puzzles and...: everything for kids!

As a child the owner had been to Hamley's in London, the toy store par excellence for the last 250 years. He wanted to create the same feeling.

After less than 10 years Ambers had to close. Why? The lease was up and FAO Schwarz, the biggest toy retailer in the US moved in 2 blocks away. You know Schwarz Toy Store on 5th Avenue in New York City, the one with the incredible window displays. If you've spent any time in NYC, you've probably been in the store to see the piano keys Tom Hanks danced on in the film "BIG".Great advertising! The personnel is friendly and the kids can play! FAO Schwarz was a big hit in San Francisco for years. Everyone who went to Alcatraz, and rode a cable car, also went to this landmark toy store just off Union Square, just a couple of blocks from where Ambers had been. Then one day Toys R Us appeared and the crowds opted to spend their money at the mega-store. What happened? FAO Schwarz was bought by Toys R Us in 2009.
Os bigger necessarily better?
What's next? On-line purchasing? Are toys going to belong entirely to a virtual world, from TV commercial and on-line display to home delivery? Are toy stores and toy departments in big stores on the way out? Wouldn't you rather go check out the toys for yourself and for your kids?


Key to success: llave al éxito
entrepreneur: emprendedor
acumen: conocimiento
start-up: empresa que ha empezado de cero
success: éxito
backed by: respaldado por
advertising campaign: campaña publicitarias
down the block: calle abajo
take over your lease: subrogó el contracto
thriving: exitoso
bet: apuestar por
mom and pop: de barrio
most likely: probablemente
toy store: tienda de juguetes
chain: cadena
a big treat: una gran ocasión
pick out: elegir
kid: niño, crío, chaval
owner: proprietario
feeling: sensación
the lease was up: terminó el contrato de alquiler
retailer: minorista
two blocks away: a dos manzanas de distancia
window displays: escaparates
landmark: punto de referencia
a couple of blocks: un par de manzanas

crowds: las masas, muchedumbre

purchasing: compra

commercial: anuncio
home delivery: entrega a domicilio

on the way out: a punto de desaparecer
check out: echar un vistazo

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Comments (2)
Alexia F1 B1 (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

It's a pity that small shops are disappearing. Of course sometimes is easier to go to big chains, where you can find everything you need and they open 7 days a week, but we don't think about the consequences for these small and lovely places that have made us happy in the past.

FI B2.1 DM (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

It’s true. The most of retail shops are in danger to be on the way out when a big chain is coming into its domains because they can’t be as competitive than them in prices, offers, advertising or commercial campaigns. In my opinion, if you want to survive in this case, you must look for your own identity mark, and your clients will see your product as an important and unique reference in the field where you are playing.

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