Store for city related items
discussed by City Council

February 18, 2000
Santa Paula City Council
A discussion concerning a “company store” offering tourists and others bits of Santa Paula memorabilia will have to wait after the City Council tabled the item at the Feb. 7 meeting to revisit it during the budget process. The council was asked to review and file the report prepared by staff regarding the development of a city store for the sale of city logo items including mugs, t-shirts, pencils, postcards and speciality items, but Vice Mayor Don Johnson asked that the item be pulled from the consent calendar for discussion.The report by Community Services Director John Keisler noted that the city’s present retail area - located in the California Oil Museum - has a profit of about $2,400 to $3,000 annually.The present income would cover the cost of a part-time store manager at the rate of $10 an hour and, “sales should increase to help offset additional personnel costs,” wrote Keisler.Keisler also said costs would remain the remain if no new products are introduced, but city postcards would cost about $2,000 if produced for later sale.Postcards could show photos of the museum, clock tower, Depot, The Mill, murals and Fillmore & Western trains, and several vendors have already expressed an interest in purchasing such cards for their retail businesses.Presently, logo items are not selling well: the museum store has 30 city watches acquired five years ago that have never sold, noted Keisler’s report.Store expansion is now limited by the lack of professional store staff and size of the existing museum area, which should be expanded by 35 percent.
Museum Executive Director Mike Nelson manages the store, ordering new merchandise, pricing store items, inventory control and stocking. Docents serve as volunteer store staff from ringing up sales to writing receipts.Johnson said he believes postcards would be a “big seller. . .I think it’s very important that people have the ability to buy postcards with Santa Paula’s name on them,” to raise awareness of the city as a tourist destination.He questioned where the funds to produce the postcards would be drawn from and City Manager Peter Cosentini said he thought that issue would be “better dealt with during the budget process when we can sort out the details.”Johnson said he supports expanding the city store, and Cosentini noted that the report noted added staff, “costly, but dovetails with having a greater ability to stock and sell,” merchandise.

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