Cushcity.com, an online retailer of African-American products, will open a retail store in Houston on September 16. Willie and Gwen Richardson, co-founders of Cushcity.com, say they realized they needed an offline strategy to reach the site's niche of African-American consumers. Last year, the company began publishing a twice-yearly catalog. The success of the catalog convinced them that they could not afford to leave so many revenues unrealized, they say.
"In contemplating the feasibility of a retail store, we discovered that we had nearly all of the elements required to make it a success," says Willie Richardson Cushcity.com's president. The firm's headquarters was already located in a retail space, a Houston strip mall, and it had inventory, a customer base "and a rising public profile."
The retail store's name will also be Cushcity.com, since computers will be available in the store so customers can purchase out-of-stock items or receive one-on-one instructions on how to order products online. Cushcity.com's product lines include African-American books, videos, toys, games, dolls, art prints, software, calendars, greeting cards, stationery items, apparel, collectibles and Black Greek products. Prices in the store will be the same as online, the company says.