Grand Openings vs. Soft Openings: Which Is Right for Your Store?

by Amanda Baltazar How do you reintroduce your store to customers when you move 500 feet across the road? There’s nothing like throwing a grand opening party to get the community talking. And that’s exactly what Matthew Burdeen did when he moved Burdeen’s Jewelry in Chicago from one side of Lake Cook Road to the other.  “If you don’t do a grand opening when you open or relocate a jewelry store, you’re really missing an opportunity,” says John Torella, senior partner with global retailer advisers J.C. Williams Group in Toronto. “Everyone’s interested in what’s new.” But rushing into an opening can be a huge error, “because you only get one time to make a first impression,” says Sherry Smith, business mentor at The Edge Retail Academy, a jewelry-business consultancy in Henderson, Nev. “You don’t get a do-over. You’re not necessarily going to

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