Touch of Class By Debbie Eisele

Shares its story of retail resilience during the pandemic

With so many retailers facing similar challenges right now, we encourage you to Share Your Story so we may in turn share it with other independent retailers.

Touch of Class Beach Products Display
All photos courtesy of Touch of Class.

Renay Bernstein, owner of Touch of Class, shared that its gift shop provides personalization — from gifts to baskets this retailer provides its locality with an array of options. “Most notably, we offer home décor and lifestyle gifts for graduation, summer, college, baby, and hostess,” Bernstein noted.

Touch of Class shared how its business is adjusting to the current retail climate. 

How have you transitioned your selling strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are now strengthening and expanding our social media platforms — namely Instagram & Facebook — to create a virtual shopping experience for our customers. We believe that this will engage the local community with small businesses like us and help promote economic stability to the local area during these trying times.

What special services, such as curbside pickup or delivery, have you implemented?

We are offering curbside pickup and delivery free of charge. We are also doing our best to maintain the personalized shopping experience, so we are scheduling virtual FaceTimes and calls daily, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — our regular store hours.

How are you reaching out to customers during this crisis?

We are using social media as our biggest reach out platform during this time, as we are expanding our “follower/friend” list and posting daily photos and videos of new and bestselling merchandise for upcoming occasions, such as graduation, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and more.

Is your business offering any new programs to assist others in the community at this time?

Since we only have one shop, we have always donated directly to organizations that we have supported for years. Examples include Face to Face — a soup kitchen dedicated to feeding the homeless people in our local Philadelphia area — where we donate food, Penn Hospital, where we donate food baskets to the medical workers, and a face mask company we now carry that donates one mask for every mask that is sold. We believe that these small donations can lead to greater change for our community members.

Have you increased your online retail presence to adjust to social distancing?

Yes! We have been expanding our presence on social media by increasing our followers and by posting photos and videos every day. We get more creative with our ideas every day and we are getting great feedback from our clients and viewers! They engage with us on these platforms through liking, sharing, and commenting, and encouraging us to continue to do this, as it is a great help to them. Make sure to visit our social media accounts at @touchofclassgifts on Instagram and Facebook.

Touch of Class collegiate merchandise options

What is the most requested item in your inventory right now?

Considering that high schoolers and college students have/ are about to graduate, our college gifts are our most popular inventory category right now. Some of our college-themed store items include personalized pillows, bags, duffles, tool kits, and more.

What helpful tips would you like to share with retail buyers during these unprecedented times?

It is so difficult to stay afloat right now, but we encourage all retailers to stay positive and keep going! Keep showing up to work every day, keep finding new and creative ways to continue turning over merchandise, and keep supporting the local community, they need you!

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, which now includes museums&MORE, Stationery Trends and for a variety of specialty publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop and Celebrations & Occasions.




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