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2019.9 Release Notes

Can you believe it’s been three weeks since the Internet and our introspective self-indulgence brought us all together? It’s a delight to be back. Wow.

To get the opening platitude out of the way: September was a busy one for Neighborhood Goods. Annoying, I know. But, as you’ll discover below (embarrassing, apologies), it’s quantifiably accurate.

Behold:

  • Locations Open: 1
  • Locations Under Construction: 1
  • Average Dwell Time: 31m 7s (up from 30m 8s in August)
  • Total Active Brands: 44 (up from 42 in August)
  • Brand Launches: 10 (up from 4 in August)
  • Brand Exits: 2 (down from 4 in August)
  • Events: 12 (up from 8 in August)
  • Moves: 43 (up from 39 in August)
  • Products Inbounded: 4760 (more than 3x our 1,362 units in August)
  • Burgers flipped: 168 (down from 207 in August) ((but this doesn’t include the enormous volume we produced across our 12 events))

That’s a lot of things! And, as far as I’m aware, no one died! (On our team, that is. Other people died, presumably. But likely nothing to do with us.)

Brands

On the brand front, we’ve been steadily driving a lot more density in Plano, as discussed in last month’s notes.

In September, we introduced our take on a direct-to-consumer pharmacy, of sorts, ‘The Residency.’ From Skylar to Kinfield to R+Co. to Good Science Beauty, we reformatted a 500 square foot space and created a cohesive home for wellness and beauty at the heart of the store.

Ahead of a Create & Cultivate conference hosted at Neighborhood Goods on the topic of wellness in October, we decided to roll out a batch of brands each week on a particular theme under The Residency banner.

In September, that rollout included the likes of Firsthand, Paintbox, OWA, and Helmm. We also introduced our first CBD brand, Dazey, in addition to welcoming one of our launch brands, Colleen Rothschild, back. (Our first-ever returning brand!)

Outside of The Residency, we also introduced Just Human sunglasses and Brightland olive oil around the space. The latter also activated within our restaurant.

In terms of behemoth projects, there were two.

First, Fossil overhauled their space to introduce Skagen. Fossil is running a rotating showcase of their in-house brands, visually modifying the same space to introduce different themes, events, and activations each month. Where Fossil had been focused on customizable classic designs, Skagen brought neon hues, rotating tables, and the like. We’ve loved it.

Second, of particular note, we fully launched Dollar Shave Club’s first true physical retail experience in the store. On that topic, I abruptly asked our Director of Store Design, Marisa Dukowitz, a little about that project on Slack. She responded (somewhat seriously):

“We worked closely with the Dollar Shave Club team to design and program an efficient (yet robust) tiled installation, reminiscent, aesthetically, of DSC’s iconic advertising. Classic, graphic and unapologetically masculine were the key words that drove the straightforward design of the main ‘barbershop’ bar. Elements of ‘high desert modern meets DSC’ where layered in, speaking to the Texas’ local design influences.”

Third, obviously, we also introduced The Residency. You know this. We’ve discussed it before, mere paragraphs ago. Here’s a photo of Mari Hildalgo King, our Director of Visual Merchandising, helping set up the space to prove it happened. She’s smiling and not at all overworked. Wow.

In terms of exits, our friends at Cynthia Rowley and Gardenuity came to the end of their respective terms.

Products & Moves

As a result of this activity, we brought in a lot of products. We inbounded 4,760 items including replenishment, to be specific. (That’s roughly 158 per day, representing over three times the volume of products inbounded and handled in August.)

We also conducted 43 physical moves. For your understanding of a “move,” that’d include the setup of The Residency, the installation of DSC, and the like.

Events

We hosted 12 events in September, including a co-hosted half-day conference with the NRF and Revtech Ventures, exercise classes with the Cowboys-adjacent fitness concept, Cowboys Fit, gardening workshops with Gardenuity, and so on.

We endeavor to host 2-3 events per week, so this was certainly at the upper-end of that range. But it’s absolutely when the store feels its best.

Beyond the potential for revenue (i.e., booking the space out) or marketing (i.e., exposing brands to significant eyeballs), we’ve found events can have a significant impact on conversion rate in the store, including for products unrelated to the event at-hand.

I’ve always talked about creating a more dignified and positive sense of magnetism to Neighborhood Goods through events and food. That’s something we’re increasingly seeing translate into meaningful momentum in the store.

I asked our Marketing Manager, Bella, to share some thoughts about the event line-up in September:

Thank you, Bella. Yes. To provide a bit more detail, she shared:

“We hosted a series of events throughout September that highlighted the different verticals within our beauty and wellness space. From crystal readings and facials to a HIIT workout class and in-store hairstylings for the guys, there was something for everyone. New brands were tied into each event's programming to encourage an element of discovery and engagement between our people and our brands.”

Two observations from Bella’s comments:

  • Diversity and breadth of content in our events has become fundamentally important. All credit to her and our Director of Marketing, Fallon, for pushing for such a range of events.
  • The team writes with a much more formal tone than me.

Misc.

  • Average dwell time lengthened by roughly 60 seconds. Probably my favorite metric this month, but I just don’t have much to say on this topic. It’s encouraging, though!
  • 44 active brands brought us ever-closer to double our initial launch quantity (i.e., 24). Considering, in October, we just launched seven brands last week, I foresee this number growing.
  • Burgers flipped was down, but this is largely due to some of the volume of events. We haven’t kept track of the number of burgers we made for our events and catering efforts. If anything, the reality is this number was likely significantly higher. We will keep better track in future.

Wrap-up

For it all, September felt like a formative month.

We announced our Series A (or the initial portion of it), in addition to our upcoming South Congress (Austin) location. We expanded our corporate team significantly, while hatching a number of plans for further expansion in 2020. (If you’re looking to join the team, we’re hiring. A lot.)

On a broader level, we saw continued growth in all of our primary metrics. (Some are included here, of course. Others are not.) In terms of how that felt, for lack of a better way to articulate myself, the store felt great.

There was an energy around our events, as well as a lot of genuine excitement for new brands.

We always have much to improve and build upon, but, looking back at September, it truly felt like our Plano store — at ten months old — really hit its stride.

More to come, as always.

Matt Alexander, Co-founder & CEO