|Store Name Cornerstone Shoppe
Capturing a sense of home
Business Type General Merchandise Stores
NAICS Code 452
Location 214 Broad St., Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Nearby Businesses Flemings Limited
Owner/Manager Karin Bennett
Special Store Activities Women”s Weekend, Taste of the Holidays
Year Opened 1985
Community Profile The City of Lake Geneva (population 7,100; 10 mile radius: 64,000) is located on Lake Geneva, at the center of the triangle region between Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago near the Illinois – Wisconsin boarder. Lake Geneva has a vibrant, historic downtown, and known regionally for its specialty stores and outdoor recreational activities.
Products Sold & Niche Developed
The Cornerstone Shoppe combines elegant and traditional home appointments with unique and artistic creations including hand made jewelry and ceramics, hand-blown glass and stained glass, and exotic wood pieces. Other products include original art work, candles, custom furniture, and books. Cornerstone Shoppe offers a wide variety of unique and specialty items typically not found in franchise or big-box establishments. Cornerstone Shoppe takes care in creating beautiful product displays which rotate throughout the year and include seasonal items.
Market Segments Served
Women age 30 to 65 make up the largest portion of Cornerstone Shoppe’s patrons, equally balancing local residents and second home owners with tourists and day-trippers. Most tourists come from the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.
Contributions to the Business Community
Cornerstone Shoppe used to be a Ben Franklin store, but with Wal-Mart moving into the area, the Ben Franklin business deteriorated. The current building was built in the 60”s and it was a hardware store that eventually became a Ben Franklin. The previous owners purchased it as a Ben Franklin in the mid 80”s eventually dividing it up into two different stores, one a dime store and the other more upscale home decor. In 2001 the dime store side was shut down and the entire building became the Cornerstone Shoppe. When Karin and Bruce Bennett purchased Cornerstone Shoppe in 2008 they brought another dimension by adding jewelry and more contemporary items that includes ceramics and furniture.
Karin Bennett is the Retail Present of the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce and is very active in the business community. Karin started “Women’s Weekend”, an annual week-long event that promotes fun women’s events, including: cooking classes, massage packages, and speaking engagements. The proceeds from the cooking classes support the local Badger Culinary Program at Badger High School. Karin also created the “Taste of the Holidays” annual event engaging downtown businesses to plan complementary programs. Each event has been successful in generating additional traffic to the benefit of the downtown.
Review by: Joshua Clements, UW Extension CCED