Kate Benedict at her stall at Beef Australia 2021.
Kate Benedict at her stall at Beef Australia 2021.

Rocky retail business booms at Beef 2021 stall

A month ago Kate Benedict took the biggest punt in her decade-long career of being in retail business and ordered four pallets of jeans.

The stock, which equated to thousands of jeans from America, was for her site, Katie B, at Beef Australia 2021 in Rockhampton.

The gamble paid off as the retail site was a popular place to be throughout the week with customers coming to the tent in droves.

“It’s been worth it, we have been able to get people most of the sizes they wanted but surprisingly enough we have had to run back to the shop and grab stuff we haven’t had,” Kate said.

To Kate’s surprise, she met a lot of locals.

first bricks and mortar store in Rockhampton in November 2018, now selling a mix of western wear and boutique clothing.

“That is a definite spin off that I didn’t expect, because I was more so expecting all of the out of towners that shop with us online,” she said.

“Hopefully they turn into new customers for our shop in William Street.”

The 2021 event was Kate’s second Beef, hosting her first stall in 2018 when the business was only online.

She has stepped up and grown since the previous event, increasing from a 6x6 site to a 10x12 site this year.

Prior to the event, she placed the biggest order of jeans she ever had.

“It was a big investment but I had confidence in knowing the event was going really good,” Kate said.

“We had been to the Nutrien Classic Horse Sale in Tamworth earlier in the year and it was really good.

“I think people are just keen to get out and spend money and socialise because we have all been so restricted for so long.

“I felt if people were searching for products, I want to make sure we’ve got them - if people want a jean in a certain size, in a certain length, I want to have it there for them.”

A huge set-up behind the scenes, it took the team a couple of days to sort through the stock, process the jeans and do the pricing - and then another four days to set up the marquee.

A regular fixture at horse sales, campdrafts and expos, Kate has finessed her planning process.

Ordering time is key as the stock comes from America and enough time needs to be allowed for it get here.

“I draw a plan of the site, I work out where I am going to put everything and what stock we are going to have for each section of the shop,” she said.

“We have a complete layout and then I buy to fill the layout.

“It is a calculated process, it’s not just a matter of buying all this stock and finding a spot for it, it’s the opposite way around.

“It’s something I have learnt and as I have got bigger over the years, it has worked.

“As time has gone on, I have done more fine tuned planning … to make sure we have the stock to fill it and the stock on hand if people want something extra or doubles of something.”

Absolutely booming in the online business and storefront, Kate says her key to success is the customer service and word of mouth as Katie B is well known for finding the perfect fit of jean.

“Being known for that has helped grow the business and the following for jeans,” Kate said.

“We do sell brands of jeans that fit people but I am big on service and helping people.”

KATIE B

Boutique and western clothing

128 William St, Rockhampton City

www.katieb.com.au



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