Fite and her daughter, co-owner Mariah Pinkerton, have worked hard to create a unique and inspiring ambiance.
Feeling textures, sitting on furniture, gathering ideas from the constantly evolving displays of clothing and home decor are things that online shoppers miss out on if they don’t visit the store in-person, Fite said. You can’t touch and feel and try on a 3-D image on a computer screen.
But whether a customer prefers to shop online or in the store, Fite said the collections offered by local retailers like herself are the highest-quality merchandise, unlike many cut-rate online venues where significant discounts are offered on outdated fashions or items that fit poorly or were last year’s colors that did not sell well.
“I go to market,” she said. “My job is to go to market and pick the prettiest and best stuff.”
On the west side of town at Spurs & Sweets in Redbud Plaza, owner and entrepreneur Holly McGowen also recognizes the power of the Internet.
“Before I opened the store, I made sure the website was in place, because I think a website is just as important as a business card today,” McGowen said. “Consumers are very well informed when making a significant purchase like investing in a pair of boots.”
In some cases, that results in an online purchase, but many times, that results in a trip to the store.
“They do their homework,” McGowen said. “I have customers that come into the store and, before they even look around, they’ll tell me which boot they want to try on. They know the sizes that are available, and they’ve done research on the brand.”
Her store serves no specific age demographic.
“People can purchase my boots online, and I ship from New York to California,” she said. “People find our store. I have a lot of followers that don’t live in Norman or Oklahoma.”