exceptions in the food and beverage categories, such as cheese, beer and wine.
“Mike is supportive of my decisions, even
those items that haven’t moved,” she said,
noting he calls those miscues “learning
this in part to people having invested in
better products in recent years. “I own
some of our wonderful products and it’s
hard to wear out a great fry pan,” she said.
“That’s the downside to nice products.”
While many specialty stores have conceded
the small electrics category to department
and big-box stores, Now You’re Cooking
does a good business with these products.
The past year especially has seen more
people investing in electrics, said Cook.
“Electrics do well, even though it’s a smaller
margin,” she said.
“One of our companies is Cuisinart and
our orders are up there,” she explained.
Breville, which does a wide range of food
prep and cooking appliances, is another
popular brand, and “coffee is huge,” added
Cook. Slow cookers in the colder months
move well, and with the growing interest
in eating healthy, anything in the blender
section – along with grain mills, dehydrators and vacuum sealers – also sells well,
But, that said, Cook noted that companies
are still coming out with new cookware
items, improving their nonstick coatings or
making other revisions that could catch a
shopper’s eye. And while there are plenty
of customers who have traded up, there
are still those who buy more economical
pots and pans, and thus have to seek replacements from time to time. “So people
are going to keep buying cookware,” she
Gadgets, of course, are a mainstay for the
store, which sports a wall of necessities,
and the source of many new items. “Where
would we be without silicone?” asked
Cook, who said she didn’t anticipate the
popularity of the Lily Pad lids. 17
An important strategy with electrics is
to carry well-known company brands and
be able to give customers support in their
purchases, whether it’s information or
access to service.
One category that has slowed, said Cook,
is the cookware segment. She attributes