Bon-Ton to expand "Close to Home" initiative online
The Bon-Ton Stores announced on Tuesday plans to expand its “Close to Home” initiative by adding in-store shops to at least 100 stores and by launching the new “Close to Home” Online Sourcing Fair.
The “Close to Home” initiative first launched at 45 stores in fall 2016. The in-store shops feature locally sourced and themed products, and has been a breakout success, bringing in twice the sales Bon-Ton had originally projected for the concept for September to December. Over 100 small businesses from 16 cities across 8 states were featured in the initial launch of the “Close to Home” initiative, such as Minneapolis-based MPLS STP Clothing and Gracie Designs from Wisconsin. Beauty brand Kiyi Kiyi Cosmetics from Willmar, Minnesota was actually able to double its yearly revenue, thanks to the buy-local retail concept.
"Our regional merchandising teams carefully curated these shops to deliver customers a hometown shopping experience that reflects the tastes and buying preferences of our local communities," said Kathryn Bufano, president and CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "The 'Close to Home' shops have been a great opportunity for us to showcase local artisans and entrepreneurs and demonstrate our commitment to supporting the communities we serve."
Bon-Ton aims to expand product offerings through the Online Sourcing Fair such as artwork, paintings, jewelry, décor and art objects crafted by local artists. The company began accepting product submissions for the first Online Sourcing Fair on Tuesday and will continue to accept submissions through March 24, 2017.
The company aims to have "Close to Home" shops in at least 150 stores by mid-2017.
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