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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org;
fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: iStores, Inc.
Owner: Adam Stites.
Chief operating officer: Adam Studer.
Address: 1212 W. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.
What the business does: Stites said his company is a niche online retailer that runs 10 different e-commerce websites. The company doesn’t sell products sold in major stores such as electronics, or basketballs. Instead, his focus is on narrower categories such as paintball equipment, firefighter gifts, gag gifts, and novelties. The company is ranked as the 313th largest Iinternet retailer in the United States.
How has the economy affected your business: Stites sees more total orders but the average purchase is smaller as consumers are cautious with spending. People still celebrate birthdays and Christmas, but they spend less.
Greatest challenge: Finding employees who understand online retail, want to work in the field, and have the capacity for online retail’s fast pace and need for creativity.
What’s ahead: Stites made several big changes in 2011 including moving his warehouse operation from Vancouver to Johnson City, Tenn. This year is about optimization and incremental improvement, he said. One of his company’s core values is to improve the business by one percent a week, and achieving that goal will be a main focus this year, he said.
What is your favorite part of the job: Studer said he likes being part of an organization that is small enough that one person can affect change to the company in as little as one day.
Year established in Clark County: The business relocated from Tualatin, Ore. in 2005.
Websites: istoresinc.com, paintballonline.com and ourdesigns.com.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; online 24/7.