The ‘practical adventure gear’ shop will fold its inventory into its Ends of the Earth cigar offshoot, driving down its retail square-footage while emphasizing outbound experiences.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 20, 2018
In its four years on Kings Highway, Gorshin Trading Post has made its mark on downtown Haddonfield.
Mitch and Maria Gorshin’s mancave-meets-general store debuted as a complement to a boutique-heavy shopping district heavily focused on women’s fashion and bridal goods.
Situated within the historic Gibbs Tavern building, its atmospheric elements draw on the charm of the colonially themed block, brought together with the flair of a Disney imagineer.
Earlier this year, the couple expanded on those styles to fit out its Ends of the Earth cigar shop, winding deeper into the building and out onto Mechanic Street.
A natural offshoot of the Trading Post’s cigar business, Ends of the Earth incorporated a built-in humidor and Havana-themed furnishings to transport guests from 2018 Haddonfield into the tobacconist’s shop of a bygone day and age.
And after the holiday season, the Gorshins will reincorporate the Trading Post within it as well, as the family peels back from its larger retail space and retools for a slimmer look.
The move will fold the Trading Post experience into that of Ends of the Earth, while maintaining the social atmosphere and neighborly connections around which the family has built its business. It might look a little different, but the shop will still turn on the personal attention and outbound experiences for which it has become known, its owners said.
“Neither brand is going away,” Mitch Gorshin said.
“That social presence is always going to remain—the hikes that Maria does, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride—all we need to do is shed the bigger footprint.
“People come to see us, to socialize, and we are truly a family-run business,” he said.
“We’ve created a brand that’s got a great following now, and we have normal, repeat business.
“We’re just getting smarter.”
Part of the move was in response to the seasonality of business in the borough, the family said.
Trading Post enjoys a significant percentage of repeat local customers, but for a mid-sized retailer of designer goods, Haddonfield can be a difficult address to keep afloat in summer months.
“When you’re walking through town, you can peer into different stores and see that there’s no one in there, but cafes and coffee shops are filled,” Maria Gorshin said. “People are using towns to eat and socialize, and using the Internet to shop.”
She has capitalized on that social dynamic within the Trading Post by creating walking tours and storytelling events for its customer base. The Haddonfield Hiking and Adventure Storytelling meet-up group has grown organically into an active, 300-member community that mirrors the hang-out within the shop.
Maria Gorshin hopes the scaled-back retail space will “give people more reasons to come to Haddonfield and more ways to be a part of it.
“It would be nice to focus on experiences,” she said. “You can’t live on shopping alone. You’ve got to be a part of the community.”
Within Ends of the Earth, the Trading Post inventory will consolidate into a few, select lines of “everyday adventure gear,” gifts, and goods that complement its growing tobacco business. Mitch Gorshin described it as a targeted approach based on four years of customer interactions.
“I met the audience, saw what they wanted, knew what we didn’t have and what we wanted to get,” he said.
“Let’s dial this down and have the essentials, keep the Trading Post alive, and blow out our cigar business, which has really become something.”
The family will still operate the Trading Post storefront for the duration of 2019, but the shop will pivot into an event space in that time.
Details haven’t been fully drawn up, but it will become “a unique space available for all sorts of interests,” Mitch Gorshin said.
In the meantime, Mitch, Maria, and their son, Brandon, will continue to cultivate the experiences and relationships that have woven their shop into the fabric of the Haddonfield retail community. Stick with NJ Pen for updates.
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