Quimper Mercantile stocking new store

By Charlie Bermnant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — Quimper Mercantile Corp. personnel are now stocking the new downtown store with inventory and expect to open for business within two weeks.

“We have met our projections in how much stock we needed to sell to open,” said Peter Quinn, chief executive officer of the publicly traded company.

“Now we need to open up and let people know that we are here, and that we are real.”

Quinn said Friday that an opening date had not been determined.

A “soft opening,” which will not be announced, will precede an as-yet-to-be-scheduled grand opening that will involve the entire community and store stockholders, Quinn said.

“That’s the beauty of a soft opening. You just open and don’t tell anyone,” Quinn said.

Plans for the store began when Swain’s Outdoor closed in early 2011.

A group of local investors sought to open a store that offered items that were no longer available in the downtown area.

Taking over the old Swain’s space at 1121 Water St., staff members with Quimper Mercantile Corporation — or QMC — are busy arranging the 11,000 square foot space to accommodate the inventory purchased so far.

The space has been subdivided so an additional 3,000 square feet will be used as a stock room.

This could be reconfigured after the store opens, Quinn said.

QMC began selling stock in January and has so far raised $530,000, exceeding the $425,000 required to open the store but less than the $950,000 funding goal.

“We’re about where we expected,” Quinn said.

“Anything we raise from here on in will go toward the purchase of inventory.

“Once we’ve been open and people have come in to see the store, I expect the stock sales will pick up again.”

The deadline for the initial offering is Jan. 3.

When Swain’s occupied the building, its doors were flush against the front of the building.

QMC has installed an alcove with doors on either side.

Sporting goods are situated on the right side of the store as people walk in, with toys in the center and children’s clothes on the left.

Men’s and women’s clothes are set into the left rear corner of the store and shoes in the back.

The cashier station is in the middle, which provides an unobstructed view of the entire store.

Several areas of the store, such as the space between the cashier and the front door, are not yet assigned.

QMC now has eight employees who are working steadily on the set-up and who are often joined by five board members.

On Friday, Quinn was caulking the front windows when two people came to the door and started to walk in before learning that the store would be open in a few weeks.

The two, who were tourists, said they were disappointed that they’d have “to wait until next time” before checking the place out.

After opening, QMC will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 07. 2012 6:12PM
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