Unfortunately, too many quilt stores tend to be a bit unorganized with their fabric selections, the books and patterns they carry, and what their store is all about. They haven't found their niche, or don't know how to create one. Look around your store. Do you tend you carry a lot of floral fabrics? Maybe you have a serious wall full of amazing solids, marbles, and tone on tone fabrics. Or maybe you just love unique, fun "I-spy" type prints like insects, race cars, vegetables, and frogs. Then you've got a start on your niche and didn't even know it! So now what?
As a quilt store owner you want to cover all the basics when it comes to making the customer happy. Your goal is to entice them to return to your shop and share the word about your fabulous fabric lines, patterns and books. So what does recognizing your niche have to do with this? Let me share.
One of my favorite quilt stores (which I don't get to as often as I'd like because it's a fair distance from where I live) has an obvious niche which the store owner caters to throughout her whole store. Her niche is reproduction, folk art, homespun, and vintage-look lines of fabric with that wink of antique-ness. Not only do her lines of fabric speak of her love of vintage (even her holiday and baby lines!) but she carries this over to her patterns and books. The kits she puts together and the quilt samples on the walls are stunning! I could roam her store for hours, and - isn't that the point? From the lighting in the store, to the bathroom, to the décor scream this store owner's niche.