Staff Report for Island Eye News
Southern Season, the nationally recognized gourmet specialty food and gift retailer headquartered in Chapel Hill, announced last week that it is closing its Mount Pleasant store. Southerly Restaurant, as well in-store fresh food services and the Cooking School, are closed too.
The Taste of Southern Season store in downtown Charleston remains open. Southern Season will concentrate its resources on the opening of multiple new Taste of Southern Season stores across the Southeast over the next 36 months. Southern Season also closed its large Richmond store in April.
Building off its successful 60,000-square-foot flagship store in Chapel Hill, and following the trend in retail store size, Southern Season has developed a smaller store concept which has proven to a big success for consumers and for the company.
Taste of Southern Season stores are open on Market Street in Charleston and at Cameron Village in Raleigh. A third small format store will open soon at Biltmore Village in Asheville, and the company has plans to open two additional Taste of Southern Season stores in Southern Pines and Wilmington over the next few months.
It was apparent to the company that the Mount Pleasant store was too large and too expensive to keep open. The decision to close this store was made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of this location. Eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to other Southern Season stores. Team members who choose not to transfer will be offered a separation package.
“We thank our valued Mount Pleasant store customers for their loyalty for nearly three years,” said Southern Season President Dave Herman. “We look forward to seeing them over the next week at our store wide sale and invite them to continue to shop with us online (southernseason.com) and at our downtown Taste of Southern Season store.”
Digital eCommerce Store
Southern Season is also making a significant investment this year to build its year round online digital store that will allow customers to have a seamless shopping experience and be compatible with all devices including smart phones and tablets. This new Digital eCommerce store will allow customers to order from the 80,000 items carried in-store and will allow the company to better engage with younger customers.
Customers today expect the ability to place all their orders electronically with ease, with same day order fulfillment and the immediate receipt of tracking numbers. Southern Season’s new eCommerce store will allow the company to capitalize on this trend and drive sales.
“The new Digital eCommerce store will not only be easy to use, but will bring the excitement of our brand to new markets and will drive in-store sales by allowing customers in our Taste of Southern Season stores to place orders on site for all the items we sell in our larger stores and have them delivered to their home overnight,” according to Brian Fauver, Senior Vice President.