THE VIETRI OUTLET
With our final move to a spacious 100,000 square foot office and distribution space in 2004, our wholesale business was booming. The booms were quickly turning into explosions – so, so exciting, but more complex for sure. We needed to supplement our warehouse sale and also allow more end consumers a way to buy.
We spent several weeks evaluating our product introductions and our inventory. We realized that we had enough interesting and high-quality product to create a store for our end consumers that would help us manage our overstock and returns. We were committed to representing artisan-made products to a well-traveled and home-entertaining customer, and we also were not going to sell to mass marketers and discounters. So our store began!
There was an entrance door at the back of our warehouse that had a contained area and a bathroom. We painted and cleaned; we added an awning above the door that said VIETRI OUTLET STORE, and put directional signs from the street. We purchased tables and created a checkout area. Luckily, we had the perfect two people who loved to sell and wanted to make the Outlet Store their own – so we got started.
"It is clear that each guest leaves with a renewed love for Italian-inspired products. Many times, they describe where they will put their new purchase or who will receive it."
Being off Highway 86, we rented a few billboards and put up colorful plate filled banners for travelers to see.
We sent out notices to all of our Warehouse Sale guests, and they began to appear. We created an Insiders Club which gave members points for discounts off their purchases and also invited them to tours of our facility including a talk about the beginnings of VIETRI from me. We wanted to shout from the rooftops what we did and what we represented. We opened our tours to non-profits, garden clubs, book clubs, and senior citizens. We had ceramic paint days for children. And now, we have a very large ceramic bull designed with VIETRI ceramic shards. I purchased him from a fundraiser for UNC Children’s Hospital. It has been covered with all sorts of alma mater throws and photographed!
Last year, 2020, during our COVID furlough, we repainted and updated our Outlet Store. The store environment is warm and happy, and everyone searches the product to find what satisfies their fancy. We wrap gifts and ship product when asked. Our bags have VIETRI and a Tuscan scene stamped on them and we even give out hemp VIETRI bags from time to time. Our VIETRI t-shirts and hats are beloved! So there we have it – what we always hoped – another part of VIETRI, the Company, where people can feel like they are in Italy whether they have been or whether they have dreamed about a visit. It is clear that each guest leaves with a renewed love for Italian-inspired products. Many times, they describe where they will put their new purchase or who will receive it. We hope that each purchase makes “one’s table” more complete and joyful – that VIETRI has a place in inspiring memories of cherished moments with friends and family.