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Retail Makeover Serves as Case Study for Today’s Independent Custom Framing Business

By Maureen O'Connor, Tru Vue Marketing Associate

Nearly six months ago Sheri
Wright, owner of Fourth Corner
Frames in Bellingham, WA,
submitted her entry to win a Retail
Makeover from Tru Vue. With
the preparation and renovation
work behind her, she is living a
whole new experience with her
revitalized business.
Many of the challenges Sheri faced with her business
are quite common in the independent custom framing
industry. Part of the reason Fourth Corner Frames was
selected as the makeover recipient was how well it
represented the transition required to thrive in today’s
custom framing market. Here’s a quick recap of what put
Sheri’s entry at the top of the list.
• Physical space. The look,
feel and function of Fourth
Corner Frames did not match
Sheri’s talent or reputation
as one of the area’s go-to
resources for custom framing.
Changing the appearance of
her shop through updates to
the exterior, her showroom,
and her merchandising, as
well as her work and inventory
space, would make a significant
difference for her business.
• Growth potential. Having made a name for herself
in the area, Sheri had the kind of volume she needed
for a successful shop, but there were opportunities to
strengthen the financial side of her business to generate
growth that didn’t require an influx of new customers.
• Branding opportunities.
Fourth Corner Frames had an
inconsistent image, and it was
clear that branding could make
a significant difference for the
business. Sheri had many of
the tools she needed for a solid
marketing program — such as a
website and social media — but
the visual image didn’t reflect
the quality and style of her work,
nor did she maximize the tools
she was already using.
Retail Makeover Serves as Perfect Case Study for
Today’s Independent Custom Framing Business
By: Maureen A. O’Connor, Marketing Associate
• Market opportunities. Fourth Corner Frames is
located in an area that has a strong affinity for the arts,
demographics that align with the custom framing market
and genuine support for local businesses. Each of these
aspects gives Sheri an ideal customer base, which is
supported by her existing reputation.
“Sheri was like so many custom framers in that she
had a lot of opportunity to become more involved in the
aspects of the business such as branding, financials and
merchandising,” said Ken Baur of KB Consulting, one of the
makeover consultants.
The project at Fourth Corner Frames is the perfect
case study for today’s custom frame shop owners and
managers. Over the next several months, Tru Vue, along
with Baur and Meg Glasgow of The Gallery at Finer
Frames, who also consulted on the makeover, will delve
into the details of various aspects of the makeover in a
series of articles and videos.
“So many businesses can take bits and pieces of the
project at Fourth Corner Frames and apply them in small,
manageable ways,” said Glasgow.
Breaking down the various components of the plan
and process at Fourth Corner Frames, we will bring to
independent custom framers the solutions that worked for
Sheri and steps they can take for making changes to their
own businesses. From merchandising to pricing strategy,
sprucing up the exterior to reorganizing the workroom, we
will offer advice for those with big changes in mind, as well
as framers who want to take small steps to transform their
shops.
Be on the lookout for articles and videos we will share
throughout the year on the Frameworks for Success
section of tru-vue.com

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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