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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.

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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 ownerShawn Holtel, 37, parents would clutch their children and leaveafter a few minutes, fearful of the combination of kids and thebreakable, expensive antiques, home accessories and collectibles inthe store.

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

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