Owner of Rockford-based Double Take Resale, Cindy Palmreuter is tweaking her business model after spending four years within the confines of a traditional brick and mortar retail establishment. “My restless spirit, coupled with some great new business plans I have researched, is giving me the inspiration to completely think outside the box. I am looking into some new, much more streamlined and cost-saving opportunities with my new business plan.” Palmreuter had looked into expanding her resale shop into other towns in West Michigan, but she found that the model remained the same no matter where she looked to set up shop – the high overhead of rent and utilities, along with traditional retail hours that did not fit with her buying customer’s needs – which was not a long-term sustainable model for the business. “I have been looking into creating a mobile resale boutique for about 6 months now. I am ready to finally put this plan into action.”
With the combination of technology – including improved website capabilities, smart phones, social media and mobile credit card acceptance – and physical mobility, there are virtually no limits to the mobile retail boutique. Palmreuter notes that she has found in her research that a mobile retail revolution has already begun on the coasts, but hasn’t quite yet hit the Midwest. She sees herself as somewhat of a pioneer and is starting a group for Midwest mobile merchants. “This is an exciting time in history for small businesses. We have a ton of resources we are able to utilize that does not require us to remain stationary. We are living in a mobile economic revolution and it is my belief that in order to keep ahead of the times, we small business owners need to remain as flexible as humanly possible in order to grow and prosper.”
Palmreuter is preparing to change from the brick and mortar establishment to the mobile model and this week has all items 50 to 70 percent to help in the transition. “After that time, I will be working on getting the mobile site jazzed up and ready to roll by very early spring.” Palmreuter plans on making clothing and accessory purchases throughout the winter in preparation for the spring launch of the second phase of her business. “I will be creating an online calendar for sellers in which I will coordinate buying times at their location, when it’s convenient for them. They need only clean out their closets and step out into their driveway.” As for sales, Palmreuter is looking down every avenue for places to set up shop. “Having been in business for four years now, I have been fortunate to have already targeted who my customers are and precisely where they are coming from. Some of my best customers come from 40 miles away to shop at my store. I am so excited to be able to go directly to them now!”
As with any new concept, Palmreuter knows that there is bound to be challenges along the way. “I want to make sure I do this the right way, and I will be continuing to research where I can and cannot set up shop. The last thing I want to do is trip-start this new venture. The idea is really back-to-basics, when you think about it. It’s returning to the good old days when merchants were mobile and moved around from town to town to sell their goods. It’s no surprise that Farmers’ Markets are so popular today. Although online shopping has been growing, some people still have a need to be able to see and touch what they are buying. I don’t think that will ever change.”
As for her second business, Rogue River Rentals, she hopes to keep operations in downtown Rockford. “I am currently in talks with another merchant about potentially sharing their location for the rentals.” For more information, Palmreuter plans to update both Rogue River Rentals’ and Double Take Resale’s Facebook pages throughout the down season in preparation for Spring 2013.