News flash: your neighbor is in the same business as you. The question is – can you handle gift basket competition?

Too close for comfort

What’s this? Two gift basket businesses across the street from each other?

That’s what I found and asked myself years ago while traveling by car on a popular street in New Jersey.

The sight of both stores got me asking lots of questions.

  • Why did the second store open so close to the competition?
  • What did the owner of the first store think when the second one opened?
  • How does each owner differentiate themself to draw people into their store?

Information in another article on gift basket marketing prepares you for such situations, so be sure to read it.

The store situation made me very curious. I had to learn the back story, and I did by interviewing each owner for an article published in By Design, a former gift basket magazine.

Inside intelligence

The owners, both women, seemed to not mind the proximity between their businesses.

One owner operated a dedicated gift store. She formerly worked in a corporate setting, and when she opened her business, her marketing was primarily to those corporate contacts.

She specialized in baby and pre-school gifts and toys and designed a line of gift baskets that grew from that specialization.

The other owner sold two types of merchandise in her store – furniture and gift baskets. Seems like an odd combination, right? It worked for her.

Customers who entered this store purchased furniture for their homes and often needed gift baskets to welcome new residents as well as for other gift-giving needs.

You realize, from this description, that each owner targeted different types of buyers. That made each business unique.

Can you handle gift basket competition?

When you find a competitor in your area, it’s your mission to learn everything about them.

  • What types of gift baskets and boxes do they make?
  • Who are they going after for sales?
  • How will you keep customers coming to you?

It’s important to protect your territory no matter how different the competition seems to be and who it serves.

This is a big issue for clients I mentor, and if you want to control this issue before it occurs, this customized competitors report will reveal where they are before you set up shop.

My clients and I focus on their true competitors (we talk about who they are versus who they are not) and also prepare for seasonal competitors that come to town during holidays.

Competitive problems affect your bottom line, making a difference between getting a $10,000 sale and a $100,000 sale. That’s a huge incentive to watch your back.

What would you do if another gift basket maker set up camp across the street from your location?