Each Wednesday, I write a post from my dissertation.
Scrapbook stores do not just sell scrapbook supplies, but also sell (or more accurately, rent) scrapbook space. Scrapbookers expect brick and mortar scrapbook stores to offer some sort of scrapbooking space for either free or for a small fee.
Direct sellers also offer crop space, but are limited by the size of their home or their ability to procure another space to offer cropping space to their customers. For example, direct sellers may organize a scrapbooking retreat at a hotel.
Some stores offer scrapbooking space that is available for customer use any time classes are not being offered. Others have to use the space to also display inventory and offer more limited crop time.
It is unknown how effective crop space is to increasing sales in relation to the cost of having the crop space in the first place. Regardless, if people do not have the space in their home to scrapbook or any other alternative, they are less likely to scrapbook. Offering a space for them to scrapbook gets them scrapbooking and gets them to buy more scrapbook supplies in the process.
Non-brick and mortar industry workers and scrapbookers who do not work in the industry underestimate the challenges of offering crop space for customers. Customers often resent having to pay for crop space. Free crops are sometimes perceived as a ploy by scrapbookers to get them to buy more merchandise. Scrapbook stores are a place for people to hang out, socialize, and create scrapbooks. At the same time, scrapbook stores are businesses. Industry workers have to walk a fine line between business/non-business. They are a third space, not home (first space) and not work (second space) (see Oldenburg 1999). Scrapbook stores are a place that can build community, yet at the same time, they are still a business.
Do you use scrapbook space offered by stores or others? Is it just a place to scrapbook or is it a chance for community? Join the conversation below or on facebook.
Oldenburg, Ray. 1999. The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. New York City:Marlowe & Company.
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