There is a lot of history surrounding Kids Store in Castle Street. Purchased as a burnt out building, Paul and his family renovated the premises and opened in the 80’s as ‘Pricewise’. As the store went from strength to strength they expanded on the children’s section of the business which ultimately led to the growth of the products and store you now know as ‘Kids Store.’
We sat down with Managing Director, Paul McGeown to get an inside scoop on this popular Castle Street store.
Tell us more about the products you sell – Would baby products be your main one?
Kids Store currently trade over two floors and the business mainly consists of baby clothes (up to 2 years old) and nursery products such as: prams, cots and mosses baskets. We also have ladies wear for the older women which has been the core of their business for the last 25 to 30 years. So, you could say it is 50/50.
The older generation as customers are very much involved in young children by being grandparents, so they are one of our main spenders when it comes to nursery products and you can see that there is a direct relationship between our older ladies’ business and our baby business.
We moved online about six years ago and we are fortunate that we had the opportunity to really sit down and spend the year understanding how online works and how it can be developed because it wasn’t our core business to begin with. As time went on we were able to grow it slowly and it now accounts for 30 – 35% of our business.
The nice thing about it is that 95% of our online business comes from outside of Northern Ireland, predominantly in the UK mainland with a little bit in Scotland and the South of Ireland.
As a local business, we don’t get a lot of online business from locals but because Northern Ireland is small they are able to find us online and then travel to the store if they want to see the products in real life.
Tell us something we don’t know
We are all parents in the store, which is very important to us as we fully understand the needs and requirements of new and existing parents. The Kids store is also family-run business, I originally joined forces with my Father in the 70’s with another store and now I work alongside my wife and when my daughters are at University they will work here on a part-time basis. It may or may not make a third generation.
What’s next for Kids Store?
We are currently working hard to make our online business grow and we are fortunate enough to know that our presence is growing online. We also have a lot of the major suppliers within the nursery industry who are now approaching us asking us to take on their products so we are looking forward to see how that progresses in the future. As a result of this we hope to hire more staff for the store.