“Having been a member of Baby News for 23 years, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to succeed in the baby business for the long haul. The group is willing to open up their operations to others and share what makes them successful, or even share their failures. There are a variety of store sizes, so we get differing perspectives from all types of demographics. Merchandise is also available from a shared warehouse, but not restricted to purchasing from the warehouse like some franchise operations.”
– Richard Woo, Citikids Baby News Store, San Francisco, CA
Stanford Distributing Corporation, the main business arm of Baby News, an association of independently owned children’s retailers, celebrates 50 years of business this year. “There are many difficult issues confronting retailing today,” says president Roger O’Callaghan. “However, if you have good people who recognize the value of ‘we’, you can adjust to the bad times. The Baby News family has always been willing to take some chances and change with the times, but the communality of the business and the willingness to work together remains constant.” Roger tells us more about this unique association and its benefits for retailers.
What’s the greatest way an association like Baby News helps a retailer in this economy?
We believe that specialty stores now need to work together to find exclusive products, get better pricing and develop an expertise on juvenile products that will separate them from the mass merchants. Although Baby News stores pay fees to be part of the association, they all benefit from the partnership they have formed together. All independent stores should consider joining one of the major retail groups in our industry.
What one membership advantage do you find is universal among all Baby News stores?
The secret of the growth of the business has been the interaction of the Baby News store owners. Stanford Distributing was created by the stores to service the association of stores. BNO Inc. was created by the stores to answer the need for an online registry and fulfillment. The registry has over 30,000 items with pictures and descriptions due to the stores’ involvement in helping to create the registry program from scratch.
Baby News considers itself a family of stores, which shares many things, from ideas, store volumes and merchandise. The Baby News catalog is a creation of the individual stores in bringing the best products to customers. Yes, nearly all of the growth of Baby News has been from personal contact with existing Baby News store owners.
How do potential retailers find out about Baby News?
Retailers can find out more about our association by visiting BabyNews.com, our informational website. Meetings are held at trade shows and independently. Stores communicate collectively through online services and the corporation sends out newsletters about business promotions and changes.
Congratulations, Roger and everyone in the Baby News family!