Poggi Bonsi Reinvents Itself As Online Store & Retail Outlet

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by Scott Schaefer

Like many Burien businesses, Poggi Bonsi has had to find new ways to deal with the recent economic downturn.

With two different retail locations on the same block on SW 152nd in Olde Burien, Poggi Bonsi has had to juggle a lot to stay afloat:

  • Two rents
  • Payroll
  • Overhead
  • Inventory (imported Italian/French kitchen items, gifts, ceramics, linens, glass, jewelry and much more)

Yet one thing they have not been juggling lately is upscale local customers with open wallets.

So how can a local import business turn lemons into lemonade (or in this case, limones into limonata)?

Co-owners Keli DeRitis and Michelle Codd decided that, rather than just close up shop, to adapt.

They consulted with numerous business advisors, including Zev Siegl, who now consults for the Small Business Development Center at Highline Community College. Zev was one of the co-founders of Starbucks.

DeRitis and Codd are turning their “corner store” into a retail outlet store, offering a 30% discount “all the time,” with hopes of becoming more of a shopping destination.

In the meantime, they’re turning most of their attention somewhere else – online.

“It’s no secret that retail sales have slipped this past year,” DeRitis said, “but our web business has remained constant and the competition is dwindling. We have about 10,000 visitors per month to our site, with orders coming from all over the US and Canada, including England, Dubai, and yes – even Burien.”

DeRitis and Codd will be spending more time expanding and marketing their website, and narrowing their focus.

DeRitis adds, “We are excited about this change and feel that it is a positive direction for our company. We’re revamping the store to incorporate more of our imports and house our shipping area so customers will be able to see us in action. We have plans to add a world map pin-pointed with all the shipping destinations for our products. So far customers are very supportive of this change, they like feeling they’re part of something larger. They still have their beloved neighborhood gift store – but now with discounted pricing.”

Poggi Bonsi can be found both at their Cucina store at 907 SW 152nd and new Retail Outlet at 901 SW 152nd, or at their online store here.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re a local business with a success story, please email us – we’re your pro-Burien evangelists who are here to help the business community, and we love to share positive news.]

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