, one of Cedarhurst’s fashion boutiques that cater to both religious and non-religious locals, utilizes social media and extra hours to stay ahead of its competition. To help bring customers — who are too busy during the week — into its doors, co-owners Claudia and Tom Kirk will open the shop on Saturday nights for the next few weeks, a move that has already paid off this past Saturday, Claudia said.
Patch spoke with Claudia Kirk about the store and its strategy.
Why did you decide to open Zoe & Co. in Cedarhurst?
We were looking around Long Island, and there are not many areas where you have a real town with street walking where you can pop into any store. It’s a good shopping town.
We’ve been in business for 12 years in Cedarhurst. We’re a fixture here. It’s very tight-knit. People here want it to succeed.
Has it changed since you first came here?
For me, it’s changed because we moved our store closer to Cedarhurst Avenue.
I have more competition now. There’s more clothing stores gearing to the age group that we cater to. A lot of Brooklyn stores moved here. They’re a part of the community — they know what people like.
There are no stores for rent on Central Avenue, that’s a good sign. Two years ago there was.
How do you decide what items to stock?
I follow the trends that are out there. I go to shows and showrooms. I learned through my vendors. I worked for various companies, such as Federated (now Macy's) and Loehman’s.
What trends do you see being big in the spring?
Dresses, a lot of color, a lot of detailed collars, blouses. A lot of soft dresses, very girly. People are shopping for the spring already.
What do you do to attract customers, with competition from malls and the Internet?
We try to keep bringing in new merchandise. Customers know they’re going to find something appropriate for their lifestyle. They know every store in this town caters to the community.
The key problem in this community is time. Once Purim hit, the clock started ticking to Passover. People go away and women have so much work to do. That’s why we’re opening Saturday nights to give them time to shop, to make it easier for people to come here rather than a mall.
How do people know about the late hours?
I invited people through our Facebook page. [This past Saturday] was busier than a regular day. It was worth it.
Social media is how I do all my advertising — Yelp, Facebook, Groupon. I do everything through social media. It’s the way to go.
A lot of stores here aren’t that advanced. It’ll take a few years, but it’s happening.
If you run a business in the Five Towns and want to be interviewed for a future Biz Talk column, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.