|Store Name Walkabout
Securing a market segment by paying attention to the shifts in consumer demographics.
Business Type Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
NAICS Code 448
Location 622 East Wall St, Eagle River, WI 54521
Nearby Businesses Hardware store
Owner/Manager Joy and Kevin Nelson, David and Jessica Eibner
Special Store Activities
Year Opened 2001
Community Profile Eagle River, a small community of about 1,400, is located in northern Wisconsin not far from the Upper Michigan border. While the town may be small, the recreation opportunities are not. In the summer, Eagle River offers visitors and locals the chance to swim and fish in one of their many lakes. When the weather gets cold the water sports give way to snowmobiling and cross country skiing. Eagle River is the classic northern Wisconsin experience.
Products Sold & Niche Developed
The Nelsons, one half of the Walkabout ownership team, are no stranger to business in downtown Eagle River. Before opening Walkabout the couple owned and operated the local hardware store which has been in the family for 52 years. While experienced in the world of hardware, the product line at Walkabout is a far cry from lumber and hammers. Walkabout was opened with the vision of being the local hub for canoe and kayak sales. Although the store still sells canoes and kayaks, it has seen its best business in the area of women’s apparel, which has led the store to expand their selection. When asked, the owner says they had no intention on focusing on women’s clothing; it just happened to be the best seller.
Market Segments Served
Through their years of experience in Eagle River, the owners have seen a shift in the consumer market. While Eagle River used to cater primarily to vacationing tourists, the recent trend has been towards long term second home owners. This shift, coupled with the fact Walkabout is the only “non-tourist” clothing store in town, has allowed them to secure a solid market made up primarily of second home owners from the Chicago area.
Contributions to the Business Community
Walkabout has found a creative way to tap into the second home owner market in the Eagle River area. This niche helps surrounding businesses also realize their potential in that market by bringing second home owners into the downtown environment.