by Heidi Riley
North Shore Group is a family business with wholesale lines and retail stores. They own and operate the Anne of Green Gables Museum and the Anne of Green Gables Stores, and design and produce a giftware and souvenir line.
They also operate JEMS Boutique, a clothing and accessory store, and design and produce Go2 Clothing, which they sell at JEMS and to several stores across Canada.
“During the past few years, we have been working hard to build our social media platforms with JEMS,” says Julia Campbell, Co-Owner. “We also work to build our local clientele.
“When the pandemic first hit, we closed our doors for two weeks. We kept in touch with our clientele through social media. A lot of people were alone, and I got so many messages saying they liked what we were doing. Staying in touch was a great exercise for my own mental health as well.
“We switched platforms to Shopify with help from some local computer programmers, and our online sales rose by 10 times in our first month. Now, our brick and mortar store is open, and we love to see people come in and visit. We are also working hard to develop our brand at a regional and national level.
“Looking at the future of customer confidence, I think brick and mortar stores will come back on PEI, but we need to keep focusing our energy on our digital platform.
“Community support is really important, and businesses have been so brave. There are so many organizations advocating for our business community and to shop local.
“For eight months, people have been very fearful. But we do not have to live that way here on PEI. We have put so much time, energy, and money into keeping the Atlantic bubble safe. As we push our message of safety, we also need to showcase what our tourism, hospitality, retailers, and local business owners are doing to ensure the safety of Islanders.”
The importance of staff
“Taking care of staff and letting them know you appreciate them is number one. They are doing things they never had to do before, such as combining jobs.”
“Get to know some social media platforms, get comfortable being uncomfortable, and make sure you check in on your mental health, and the mental health of your staff.”
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