Nearly 23 years ago, a small shoe store in downtown Lindsay opened but soon grew to carry clothing as well. Brittany N Bros carries “comfort and fashion footwear and clothing,” and has been a vibrant part of the downtown since it launched more than two decades ago.
Its Canadian and European designs were popular enough that owner Tammy Thompson expanded to Port Perry and Cobourg in 2011, for a total of three locations.
“Each location carries some of the same fashions but also have their own styles for their customers’ needs in their locations,” she explains.
Thompson says it has been a difficult year for everyone, reflecting on the fact that she bought her inventory a year ahead and “certainly did not budget for being closed.”
Now, faced with yet another lockdown, she says lost revenue “will not be recovered this year, or maybe never.”
After being shut down the first time last March, Thompson realized she needed to work hard to keep her business name out there.
“I didn’t want my customers to forget me.”
A company she buys from offered her facemasks to sell and she started doing this from home and got the word out using social media. She was so thrilled when her regular customers started buying from her, and she soon started selling more of her store’s products this way, offering both curbside pick up and delivery.
“My customers truly wanted me to stay in business. They where supporting me and it made me feel great,” Thomson says.
She worked to open an online store and did some live videos of new product in the store.
As much as online shopping has augmented her business and replaced other sales for now, Thompson says she believes she will always be “a bricks-and-mortar store.”
“I feel our customers want that shopping experience. They want to come in and see first-hand the fashions, to try them on and they want to have that one-on-one experience.”
“Going shopping and having lunch will never go away. We all want to be social,” she adds.
She also feels a kinship with her fellow downtown retailers, which has strengthened during the pandemic.
“We want our customers to stay in our downtowns and support all the local businesses. It’s important to do this for a healthy downtown. Brittany N Bros will always suggest other retailers and business to our customers,” Thomson says.
Brittany N Bros is a family-owned business and will one day be passed down to her daughter, Brittany Roberts.
“She is on her way to take over and will do an amazing job.”