Two years ago Gaetano Pepe and his wife Cinzia decided to leave the workforce and open up their own tobacco business Tabacchieria Sassi. Since then, they’ve dedicated themselves to building their retail business and have succeeded in becoming a Wish Local power store, which means they have a high volume of Wish Local customers visiting their location.
We talked with Gaetano, a smart and funny business owner, to learn more about what makes their business so successful and how they use Wish Local services to help build relationships with new consumers.
How did you decide to open a tobacco store?
The best thing about having a tobacco store, in my opinion, is that if you have a good understanding of the business world, you can sell more than one kind of item. Our tobacco store is a very big store, pretty wide, and it covers almost 860 square feet. We chose to dedicate ourselves to [selling] tobacco, gift items, stationary, silverware and logistics. It’s well structured. We even managed to cover the fashion department thanks to my wife. We support each other.
How does owning a business allow you to get in touch with the community?
We almost live in the neighborhood and you get to know more people. There are more positives than negatives and we’ve become a referral point for people living in the town.
What made you decide to join Wish Local?
I joined because it was, in my opinion, a brilliant idea… You don’t have the ability to directly contact Amazon, but with Wish [you can]. This is important for me because that means Wish invests in interacting with the store owner. This is the aspect I found most pleasant. We also wanted to expand our involvement with packages, here in the neighborhood.
How has your experience with Wish Local been so far?
Positive, very positive, for a series of reasons! We’re store owners and people need to come in, period! If people just come in to pick up a package or if they come in to do something else that does not matter. The most important thing is that people are there and also that you [in turn] give out a good impression. Then time will tell.
What techniques do you have for converting Wish customers into sales?
We try to understand the needs of the client a bit and to meet them. I think you shouldn’t push. If a person looks around and compliments the store when they come in, then we talk! But if a person has no interest in interacting then we’re not annoying about it… Most of the time we get compliments, and [customers] like to look around. We only intervene [to sell] when we know it’s [a] good [setup].
Do you have tips for those who want to own their own retail business?
My suggestion is, at least, to give it a try!
Gaetano’s strong business sense and positive outlook have done wonders for his business. If you’re in the town of Carpi, Italy, stop by his store.