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Bull in a China Shop?

If that's how parents feel bringing kids into your store, they'll pass you by.

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Shopping at Heirlooms of Oldenburg in Oldenburg, Indiana, used to be a stressful experience for families. According to owner Shawn Holtel, 37, parents would clutch their children and leave after a few minutes, fearful of the combination of kids and the breakable, expensive antiques, home accessories and collectibles in the store.

Holtel decided the solution was to cater to a much younger crowd. So she set up a kids' table, stocked with puzzles, coloring books and toys, that's visible from most of the retail floor. She also widened aisles to make them stroller-friendly, eliminated sharp edges, and put delicate and consigned items out of reach in display cases.

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