January 17, 2010
Shifting the Retail Store

After having been in business for more than 20 years, opening a "bricks and mortar" store has been a real adventure. Of course, when we went online with GombergKites nearly 15 years ago, that was an adventure too! And look where that has gone!!

Northwest Winds Kite Store opened in our local outlet mall in May, 2009. We're a kite flying town; the biggest shopping area for 50 miles is our Factory Outlet Mall; we own a kite factory. So it all made sense.

New Store Front

Susie and I don't actually work the sales floor. Brother-in-law Mike, wife Jackie, and now niece Liz have done a fantastic job there.

The news that we needed to shift locations came as a bit of a surprise in October. In simple terms, our space was bought out by a larger vendor at the end of our six-month start-up lease. But an equally nice place opened up just down the sidewalk so we signed a longer lease there. And that, friends, is how we came to be moving counters, fixtures, slat walls, and boxes and boxes of kites after the mall closed down each night in January

Can you imagine what happens when you drop an entire carton of screaming monkeys??

OKR Work Space OKR Work Space OKR Work Space

Mike, Jackie and Liz got the entire store moved, set-up, and open in just ten days. Amazing effort! (Susie and I came down a few nights to help with the heavy lifting.) And I'm delighted to say that the new store looks even better than the old one! Focus lights, the muted grey and charcoal coloring, and the physical lay-out make for a very classy, upscale presentation.

New Store Front

We still have about 3,000 feet of floor space. I should also add that Northwest Winds probably stocks more kites on the shelves than any other store in the country!

Friday, a full sea-container arrived from the Factory with our first delivery of 2010 products. Susan and I off-loaded everything into our secondary warehouse (More heavy lifting!) We then showered and limped off to the store grand-reopening.

Mike and Jackie left Saturday to drive our booth and displays to the Kite Trade Convention in Primm. Susie and I fly out for Nevada on Monday. We'll set up the booth Tuesday and be ready for the show as store owners arrive Wednesday. (Getting tired of heavy lifting!) Liz is back home keeping NWW open.

And people tell you January is quiet in the kite business....

Hope all of you are warm, safe and happy. We'll have a full report on the trade show for you next week.

My giant PL Fish hasn't been getting enough air time. In fact, I think I've only flown him three times. Perhaps he would get more attention as part of your show.

This is the 50 foot version made in New Zealand. Given the terrible exchange rate, the cost of a new one would run about $4500 (plus overseas delivery). But I can part with this like-new model for $3900.

And as long as we're talking fish, lets offer a 20% discount on the GKPI models through the end of January. We'll call it a "back to school" special. School - fish -- get it?? Susie hates my puns.

The GKPI 30 foot Fish is reduced from $1000 to $800. And the cool 20 foot model is down from $650 to just $520. Call for custom colors

PL Fish

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