Toy store gets return visit from 'Today' show

2014-01-25T20:42:00Z 2014-01-25T21:06:23Z Toy store gets return visit from 'Today' showLOUISE RONALD, Richmond Palladium-Item nwitimes.com
January 25, 2014 8:42 pm  • 

RICHMOND, Ind. |  NBC's "Today" show returned to Veach's Toy Station last week to follow up on the changes made at the downtown Richmond store since its December makeover.

"Today" is set to air Veach's two-part story Saturday and Feb. 2, weekend co-anchor Erica Hill said.

Hill and producer/videographer Samantha Wender explored the store recently while asking owners John and Shari Veach lots of questions.

"We're excited to come back and see in person what's happened over the past few weeks," Hill said.

Veach's was selected by "Today" for a story about how marketing strategies can turn things around for small, struggling retail businesses. In December, marketing expert Martin Lindstrom oversaw a makeover of the Richmond store, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

"The story tells the real challenges of a family-owned mom-and-pop shop," said Shari Veach. It also tells how Lindstrom's suggestions "give us hope and a plan ... for the future."

Lindstrom continues to work with the Veaches on physical changes to the store and what John Veach called "a new way of thinking" about the business.

"(Lindstrom) has certain lessons he wants to teach us, and I think he'll hang with us until we really grasp it," Shari said.

Lindstrom also enlisted two local women, Jennifer French and Whitney French, to help with arranging merchandise in a way that makes for an easy flow through the store.

Feedback from customers has been positive, John Veach said, but employee Karen Young finds the changes a bit difficult.

"It's hard when you know where every single thing is," said Young, who has worked at Veach's for eight years. "Now it's like learning it all over again."

Allison Hemmerling, 9. who was shopping Tuesday with her parents and sisters, was impressed when she heard about the "Today" show.

"It's cool that they're going to be on TV," she said.

Young isn't so sure.

"It's different to have all this attention. It's going to be even more attention once it airs on national TV," she said.

Shari Veach seems a little nervous about the airing.

"I anticipate it will be hard to watch," she said.

John Veach sounds more confident.

"It's a positive for our store and the downtown community in general," he said. "For Richmond." Besides, he added, "hopefully, we'll get some new customers."

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