Occasional Shops? What's That?

By KBJR News 1

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 6:12 PM CDT

Superior/ Duluth (Northlands NewsCenter) - A trend in retail is starting to make its way through the Northlands. As Trends are sometimes impermanent...so are these businesses, but that's all part of the plan. Jordan Weinand explains how this business model works.

How often do you shop? Every night of the week? Probably not. Once a month? For most that's closer. So why not run a business in that same fashion? It's called occasional retail and the buzz is hitting the Northlands.

"I would describe it more like an event than a store. When I first heard about occasional sales for about ten seconds I'm like, umm, and then it hit me. I totally understood," says Allan Johnson, Co Owner of the House of "J".

"We have the Thursday night 4–8pm and then Friday and Saturday 9–5 and it's just like a party because we worked on it all that time."

Jennifer Hauck, Owner of the House of "J" in Superior says it's a party that is geared towards making all your sales once a month. A similar style of retail store in Duluth has been executing this business model for awhile. Owner of Lillian's, Maureen DeGrio says the demand keeps people coming.

"Well it creates excitement to know that Oh we gotta get to Lillian's this week they're only open these four days. Or another weekend they'd say we can't get to Lillian's, they're closed today you know so we gotta get there when they're open. So it creates excitement."

With excitement as a key ingredient to the success of a business, costs for rent would seem to be a business killer. Especially while paying for a space year round using a building 9–12 weekends in a year. Johnson believes other business elements mend that problem.

"Well we do have to pay rent all month, but we don't have to pay payroll. Often times you'll walk onto a store like this that's not occasional, you'll see the 17 year old behind the counter doing her nails all day."

Both stores use very similar business models and say so far, it's working well. Occasional shopping is available all weekend for both of these shops. Lillian's will be open through Sunday and The House of "J" goes until Saturday.