Business retools for mobility

Oct. 07, 2013 @ 08:22 AM

Locopops update: While the gourmet pops vendor Locopops is closing its Chapel Hill and Raleigh stores later this month, the Durham location on Hillsborough Road is not affected and will remain open.

“As long as there’s Locopops, there will be a Durham store,” said founder Summer Bicknell, who started the business in 2005.

Bicknell said she’s closing the two other locations Oct. 27 as part of an effort to re-tool the business and bring the product to where consumers want to eat it: at baseball games, festivals and other events and gatherings.

In addition, Bicknell cited various factors affecting the two stores. In Raleigh, she said renovations to Hillsborough Street made it more difficult for consumers to get to the store. And in Chapel Hill, she said they’re in more of a commuter location on South Elliott Road. With an impulse purchase like a pop, she said foot traffic is important.

“Increasingly, consumer behavior says, people want to combine their experiences,” she said, explaining the shift to focus on providing pops at special events. “People more and more want to have that combination, we’re going to try to bring it to them,” she added.

Bicknell said she’s also looking into more mobile options for the business in addition to the cart that they have already. She encouraged people to contact her if they’re interested in being on a regular route of a mobile vendor..

“We promise not to play any creepy ice cream music,” she said.

The Durham store, on Hillsborough Road, is both a retail store for Locopops and a production kitchen. Durham is where the business got its start, and is the city that Bicknell calls home.

“Durham is known for embracing new food business really rapidly, and continuing to support them,” she said. “That might be a small difference between different parts of the Triangle. I can’t prove it numerically, but that’s how it feels.”

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Additions to Southpoint: A KC Chocolatier cart is opening at The Streets at Southpoint, nad will be in the lower Belk wing of the mall.

In addition, the new Zinburger restaurant is nearing opening. It’s going into the former Rockfish space in the outdoor section.

Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at loleniacz@heraldsun.com; 919-419-6636.