As part of an overall revamp of its retail stores, Sissy’s Log Cabin is adding a sixth store to its well-known Arkansas chain with a new West Little Rock location. The company intends to add other sites as well if this smaller-format store is as successful as the company hopes.
The store, which is under renovation, should open in early May, says William M. Jones IV, vice president of operations for Sissy’s Log Cabin. It joins Sissy’s Arkansas locations in Pine Bluff, Little Rock Heights, Jonesboro, Conway, and Memphis, Tenn.
“This is a tester site. We’ve got five other cities we’d like to move this store into,” Jones says. “This is different than anything else we’ve done, square- footage wise. Our goal is to create the best retail experience in the world.”
Sissy’s Log Cabin is working with a store designer to look at the company’s overall retail portfolio, taking note that the business started in an actual log cabin and developed from there, Jones says. It is one of the more unique origin stories, so the redesign will highlight that as well as they company’s strong commitment to customer service.
“My part of the project is when you walk through the front door, there’s going to be a sculpture of the original log cabin, like an introduction to the store. It will help us explain the company’s culture,” Jones says.
Part of the idea is to give Sissy’s staff a jumping-off point to talk to clients when they first arrive. Think of the log-cabin replica as a kind of icebreaker, Jones says.
“When you meet somebody for the first time, it’s always easier to talk about something. It’s like a nice way to introduce ourselves,” Jones says. “It’s a really small thing, but those first seven to 10 seconds are so important. That’s the best way to start a long-term relationship.”
The West Little Rock location not only will attract a younger consumer but it will also be a great prototype of a smaller store model, Jones says, giving the company another way to study the staffing and product needs of a smaller space. Plus, the footprint of about 2,000 square feet will let the client and the sales staff interact in a natural way within the space.
“The big thing I’m passionate about is that first impression,” Jones says. “We want clear doors, so people can see inside, see the salesperson, see everything in there.… So, with that initial greeting, we can make the client feel comfortable. Then, the client knows the salesperson is a professional who will not only know the inventory but can walk the store with them.”
Longtime Sissy’s employee Robert Dooms will manage the new West Little Rock location, Jones says. The company selected this site because the city is growing rapidly and gives the chain a foothold into the Promenade at Chenal, a popular shopping center there. This new store also will have valet parking and a small studio for making videos for training, Jones says.
The last time Sissy’s Log Cabin opened a store (its fifth location) was in 2019 in Conway.
Founder of Sissy’s Log Cabin, Sissy Jones, started the retail chain in 1970, renting an original log cabin for $50 a month in Pine Bluff. The cabin was in rough condition with termites and even a raccoon in the outhouse, an incident that will live forever in company history.
The Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame honored Jones last November, naming her as one of its 2022 inductees. She was recognized for her dedication to the community and for creating one of the largest independent family-owned jewelry stores and one of the largest fine jewelry retailers in the mid-South.
“Our growth is through persistence,” Jones says. “We’re family, working harder and harder every single year.”
Top: Sissy’s Log Cabin recently announced the opening of its sixth location, in West Little Rock, Ark., will be a smaller store format. The company intends to add similar locations soon (all photos courtesy of Sissy’s Log Cabin).@jckmagazine
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