Handmade Retail

On my way back from The Running Event on Friday, I wanted to grab a bite to eat at the Austin airport before my flight.  I noticed Annies, which boasted natural burgers and handmade salads.  Handmade? Did they think I wanted a machine made salad?  My wife and I have been recently joking about handmade wines, but at least they are distinguishing between small batch wineries and the big conglomerates.  Annies took it too far, and it came across as disingenuous.  As I think about the hundreds of running stores that visited Austin this week at TRE, they are each handmade running stores.  There is no cookie cutter approach.  Each brand means something different in its hometown specially crafted for its market and unique customer base.  I had a great conversation with Jeremy Litchfield, President and CEO of Atayne, during the event.  He talked about the importance of ‘play and place’ in the minds of our customers and cited the surge of store branded gear and apparel over the last few years as evidence.  Jeremy is right, and we need to do more of that.  What are ways you are going to convey your handmade recipe in 2016?  Write back and let us know.

Karl Heinz Kosse

Brooks Concept Store