Dig into the history of Ricky’s NYC and you’ll find a chapter in its 20-plus-years history that includes kids beauty supplies. While dedicated children’s sections were in its stores at one point, they are no longer there today.
“We tried to do a kids thing, and it was a drain on us. It was a great idea. The store did pretty well with it, but because it was so specialized it needed special attention. It was distracting us from our bread and butter,” explains Costello. “We’ve made mistakes, and we’ve tried different variations of our business; but we’ve found that when you aren’t focused, it takes away from what you’re doing every day.”
Costello’s takeaway advice for other beauty retailers? “Stick to what you do and do it well.” Ricky’s NYC has found an identity in its urban vibe and is known for supplying the best brands and always being in stock, says Costello. “At Ricky’s, we worry about us much more than anyone else. We forge forward with our philosophy. We have become a New York institution.”
Finding a niche is also an opportunity to grow business because you are offering your customer something special that can’t be found anywhere else. “Find your niche and what makes your store unique—capitalize on that. Be different. Be special. Be a destination,” says Batt. When competing against big-box stores, “We can purely capitalize on not being the same and offering a better shopping experience.”