Director of Sales
The Stoney Moose
What makes a cannabis retail shop stand out? I believe it is the willingness to be “extra” (as the kids are saying these days) and taking the experience consumers have of being in your shop to the next level.
In my retail store in Alaska, The Stoney Moose, we do this by creating an environment where people feel warm and welcomed, while also retaining an air of professionalism and providing an educational experience about our products, so customers feel both at ease and in good, capable hands. They enter the store and are greeted by the security guard, then are ID’d and shown to the menu of our products with a brief explanation of our specials, our most attractive products and our color-coding for sativa and indica, all while being surrounded with beautiful art (that is for sale) and helpful and knowledgeable staff that are there to assist without being overbearing.
A strategy I use to be “extra” and make my shop stand out over the others in town is that we throw events. Every few months we have one of the owners running a grill at the front door, so when people walk down our alley and up to the store they are greeted by smiles, conversation and the smell of burgers and dogs grilling, free to all our customers. It costs very little to buy 40 hot dogs and 20 hamburgers but the results are amazing. People rave about it online, to the staff and to the community.
Our biggest shindig of this type is on 4/20. We pull out all the stops: I hire a glassblower to make people custom pieces on the porch, we have live music from some talented staff members and local musicians and, of course, crazy sales with everyone on the staff dressing in their finest 420 attire. We also do things like give away any excess merchandise. This event last year put our sales at almost double those of any other day that we have been open. Trust me, going the extra mile to create a special and unique experience for the customer pays off.
I believe events like these make us stand out to the community. People generally crave connection and when you provide that, coupled with professionalism (an important boundary to uphold), the customer walks away on a very positive note. I also believe in integrating caring for our community into our business philosophy. Feeding people a free meal while they’re waiting in line to make their purchase is something that I find very rewarding. Plus, people notice. People see a cannabis business making a positive impact on the community and it helps to wash away some of the stigma that still lingers.
Not only are we raking in tax money for the town, but we are providing wholesome, positive experiences and interactions, along with supplying them with the highest grade and choicest cannabis products available, of course.