This upscale dollar store keeps customers coming back with exclusive texts

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You probably wouldn’t expect to find locally made soaps and spices at a dollar store. Well, things are a little different at Barnyard Dollar Store and More. Find out why.

Audio: Find out how a single sentence changed Steve McKinley’s future and led to the creation of Barnyard Dollar Store and More.

Located in the sunny city of Frisco, Texas, is one of the most magical places on Earth: Barnyard Dollar Store and More. We should probably italicize and more, because Barnyard is really not your typical dollar store. Just read a few of their Google reviews:

“The high energy exhibited by the staff made me want to stay all day and find hidden gems.”

“Worth visiting just to see the place as it has an awesome rustic design.”

“You’ll find the typical dollar store fare as well as artisan soaps, tons of hot sauces and a lot more.”

A dollar store with friendly staff, artisan soaps and specialty hot sauces? Yes. It exists, and it’s all thanks to the brilliant mind of Steve McKinley. We had the chance to speak to him about how he came to be the owner of an upscale dollar store and what roles texting plays in the picture.

Building a different kind of dollar store

“I’m a retail veteran of over 30 years and have worked with some great companies out there. Along my journey of working in retail, I worked with a national dollar store chain and learned a lot.”

Steve’s ah-ha moment came when he attended a national retailer’s quarterly report conference call. He learned a fact that changed his thinking forever: a quarter of the revenue generated by this national retail dollar store comes from millennials and upper-income consumers.

That’s when he thought, “What if you built an upscale, clean, organized, friendly dollar store? What would happen?”

He put together a business plan, ran it by a few of his trusted colleagues, and less than a year later opened up the first proof-of-concept location.

Seeking out a text marketing platform

That’s how Barnyard Dollar Store and More was born. Today, the shelves are stocked with over 2,000 items all priced at two dollars or less. There are another 1,000 items at various price points—all of them still a great value. And the best part? Scattered throughout the store are items made by local entrepreneurs such as sauces, spices, handmade soaps, and deodorants.

After the grand opening, Steve needed to let the world know about his store.

“It became apparent to me that communicating digitally through cell phones and promoting what we were doing was pivotal in building the awareness and keeping the loyalty going.”

He sought out a text marketing solution to send out exclusive offers to Barnyarders, as he calls his loyal customers. After much research, Steve decided on SimpleTexting.

“One of the things that I gravitated to very quickly was how user-friendly it was for a guy like me. I didn’t need an IT degree, but I could sit down and easily navigate my way through it.”

Steve added a sign-up form on his website that allows people to instantly sign up for text message updates. He also created a keyword—Barnyard—that customers can text to their number to opt-in for messages. Aside from the website, Barnyard Dollar Store also promotes its text message loyalty program in the store itself. Their keyword and short code are on their receipts, and they talk up the program to customers.

“As a matter of fact, we encourage them before they leave to pull out their cell phone and type that up,” says Steve.

Building customer loyalty with unique promotions

Every Thursday, Barnyard sends out a text message to all of their subscribers with a one-of-a-kind deal. Not just anybody can receive these offers. Customers have to be signed up for texts.

“We let them know they’re getting a special message that nobody else is exposed to,” explains Steve.

He’ll pick a product or category and come up with a store-wide promotion to encourage customers to come in. Occasionally, he’ll even attach a photo of the product or the store using our MMS feature.

“We like that. It feels like it’s a more personal touch versus just a standard text.”

To redeem the offer, customers have to show the text at checkout. Of course, when you offer such a wide selection of high-quality products, you’re bound to develop some regulars. As for those customers, Steve isn’t concerned about making sure they present their coupons. That being said, many customers do show their phones at checkout.

“It’s encouraging to know that the messaging is working,” says Steve.

Celebrating a one-year anniversary

Shortly before publishing this success story, Barnyard Dollar Store and More celebrated its one-year anniversary. From their 5-star rating on Facebook to the 80+ rave reviews on Google, it’s clear that Barnyard has solidified its rightful place in the Frisco community. We can’t wait for a store to open up in our neighborhood. 🙂

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