[Report] Arroz Merchandising Store February 2022

Break down of work carried out in February 2022 - Arroz Merchandise and Store

Project members :[ @lamour]&[ @laurapnz]

New Arroz t-shirt merchandise have been confirmed this month and we have sent into production to include three new designs to print. Due to high demand for screen printing services here in Portugal (we want it kept local) we currently may be faced with a delay in production. The screen printer is based in Sintra, Portugal so we are keeping the location local, which should also speed up the process.

During the final design process this month we have come across some obstacles with costs, we found that we have had to adjust the final design as we have under budgeted from our last proposal and the production price has increased slightly. We spent a good amount of time this month communicating back and forth with our printer to come to the right price bracket to enable a good investment and a sound profit gain per unit. We managed to adjust the colors amounts per design and printing on one side for example, which significantly reduced the costs. However with all of our efforts this has led to being under budget. With all this being said we found that the total price is still at a good value to obtain a healthy profit to reinvest and have committed to an agreed price with our printer. Our existing budget was originally around 615 euros and now it is 889 euros for 108 t-shirts. We will require an additional 274 euros to cover the cost of printing new Arroz merchandise (To be part of the proposal for March Merchandise 2022).

We have begun a trial period with a new member of staff that started working in the shop at the beginning of February (1 month so far). The idea was to start an initial work schedule to trial opening the shop at almost all of our calendar events to see what gains the best response/footfall for our shop. From the feedback at the end of this month we found that the opening times that are the most successful are at our daytime markets and our events with earlier start times are most popular and profitable. In the next month this research enables us to be more informed on choosing the best hours of work, so as to be more cost effective with staff costs also. We are also able to budget for a shop staff member by using Arroz Estudios own funding in the initial process, which is a great step towards the shop becoming more self sustainable.

There is a process of sticking to a familiar schedule also for the clients to become used to the shop opening times, so some events might not be so popular now, but we know these regular events increase footfall into the warmer months. As we are still in “winter” months here in Portugal we are also building the opening slowly along with the events schedule as the shop is not on a public street.

So far the staff member is becoming familiar with the studios and becoming part of the Arroz community. We are holding regular catch ups to discuss feedback and new ideas on what next to improve the shop also… We have also been busy training the new member with stock counts, cash handling and payment options including taking payment by NEAR. This so far has worked out well and we have already sold two t-shirts by NEAR payment, a great option to avoid card transaction processes also and works well at events alongside payments also being taken in NEAR at our pizzeria and bar.

We carried out a successful and collaborative fun shoot with members of the studio with their products and since then have been using the photography edits to promote the store on social media, posters, signage and newsletters and all other promotional material. So this has really helped with the launch and advertisement of the store.

We have begun creating more NFts with store products and uploading onto the mintbase store. We arranged a workshop with Vandal to help us learn how to do this. So far we have a few items up in the shop and we are learning how to manage this alongside creating a system to keep on top of stock levels in the physical store. We also have had to spend time addressing each product individually with each member to discuss a separate cost for the mintbase store as there are fees to be taken into account, so for example we found items bought in store can be sold for a cheaper amount than online, which has access to a much larger audience also.

We are halfway through designing our stand alone sign for outside the shop. After opening the shop we realised we also need to create further signage outside the studios and in various places around the studio bar etc. So far for a temporary sign, we decided to get creative with recycling of materials for signage and used an old shopping trolley with lights inside. This looks cool and suits the style of our studio space, whilst attracting attention!. We have also been playing around with the shop furniture and decided to bring items outside of the shop to make an external display once the shop is open. Bringing the store outside on warmer days.