You know what sucks? Paying rent. But, you know what’s even worse? Paying rent on a place when you’re not in there yet. I’ve written two checks to Britton Plaza so far and will write at least one more (maybe two) before we open the door and start selling guitars.
Without a doubt, the question I am asked most often is: “When is your new store going to open?” Believe me when I tell you, I am more anxious than anyone to open the doors and start bringing in some revenue. Here's the store timeline:
Mid-1980’s through August 2015: I daydream often about opening a guitar shop. In the last few months, I become more serious about the idea and start researching what it would actually take to make it happen.
September 2015: I finally decide to go for it and Replay Music Exchange is born. We buy out the inventory from a small guitar shop down the street that is closing its doors.
October 2015: We set up a temporary shop in an office building, run a few ads, and start buying used music gear from the general public. We begin searching for a permanent store location.
November 2015: I sign the lease for our 6,000 SF retail space in South Tampa’s landmark Britton Plaza shopping center. The landlord graciously agrees to give us a few months free rent while we build-out the store. I hire an architect and, after a few revisions go back & forth, we settle on a layout just before Thanksgiving.
December 2015 & January 2016: A lot of stuff going on behind the scenes with drawings, permits, pricing, and such.
February 2016: Construction gets underway! We decide to make some last-minute design changes, which brings everything to a halt shortly after it begun.
March 2016: More behind the scenes stuff related to the design changes. Rent check #1 goes out in the mail.
April 2016: It is exciting to see construction underway once again! I am encouraged by our progress as I drop rent check #2 in the mail.
May 2016: Construction continues.
June 2016: The latest completion date estimate from our contractor is June 17. Of course, it will take us a few weeks to move everything over from our temporary space, get organized, install our computer systems, and merchandise everything properly. Meanwhile, rent check #4 will go out.
July 2016: One day in July, when we feel that we are mostly ready for business, we will simply unlock the door one morning and have a “soft opening.” (Be sure to join our e-mail list for advance notice)
August 2016: Sometime in August, when everyone is back from summer vacation and school is about to start, we will hold our Grand Opening Celebration, complete with crazy sale prices, guitar giveaways, celebrity appearances, live performances, and more!
And that, Dear Reader, is my long-winded answer to an often-asked question. Until next time, I’ll leave you with some words from the great Tom Petty which ring particularly true to me right now: “The waiting is the hardest part.”
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