Retro Respection bucks retail trend by moving from online to bricks and mortar

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Retro Respection owners Storm Todhunter and Joleen Brown have approached retail differently in Collie.
Camera IconRetro Respection owners Storm Todhunter and Joleen Brown have approached retail differently in Collie. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

While some established businesses in Collie have found it tough to adjust to changing circumstances, one new store has bucked the trend.

Retro Respection operated as an online shop for six years before owners Storm Todhunter and Joleen Brown moved into a store on Steere Street four months ago.

“We started small then built and built until it got to the point where it was viable for us to take on the bricks and mortar shop,” Ms Todhunter said.

“We did it that way rather than the way people usually do it because it worked for us to be solely online while our kids were younger.

“We learnt along the way and I don’t think we would have been ready if we went straight into the store – we parlayed profit into building the business.”

The pair said they had little trouble transitioning from an online-only outlet into a combined operation as profits continued to grow as new customers discovered the store.

“Being online in a town like this we hadn’t been reaching any of the locals because that’s not where they are looking,” Mrs Brown said.

“Online is good for targeted purchases but we get spontaneous buyers with foot traffic walking by and seeing things through the window.”

The store’s lack of apparent theme throughout led to it being described as “the quirky little shop on the corner” by Mrs Brown’s eight-year-old son.

They said promoting the idea of an experience in store was also a different element that was not available online.

“We’ve always been careful with our product mix to make it unique,” Ms Todhunter said.

“We have things that you will not find elsewhere in Australia and there are plenty of things you wouldn’t find under one roof.”

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