After briefly closing their doors last year, Caboose Hobbies will be reopening as "Caboose" under new ownership and in a new location
The new owner, Kevin Ruble, plans for a February open. He is currently waiting for the shelves to be fully stocked and for the new ecommerce platform to be fully operational.
"Our first goal will be to enhance the in-store experience for customers," says Ruble. "One way we will accomplish this is by hiring sales people who are very knowledgeable but won't be judgmental to the customer. It's important for the sales team to be friendly but not overly sales-like."
Ruble took over after the previous owners, Joanne and Duane Miller, retired and closed Caboose Hobbies in September 2016.
"Caboose Hobbies was such an iconic space, and I purchased it because I saw that the opportunity was still there." The original store served 78,000 customers worldwide with its ecommerce platform and Ruble is confident the number will grow.
While Caboose Hobbies had around 60 employees, most of whom worked only one or two day a week, Caboose has 14 total employees. "Having a mostly full-time staff is key to creating good customer service," says Ruble. "Building a relationship between staff and customers helps keep people engaged."
The second goal of Caboose is to enhance the ecommerce experience for customers by developing a new platform. "I want customers to feel confident that if they order something at 3 a.m. it will ship the next business day," says Ruble. "We are investing heavily in the online portion of our store because I expect the amount of business we receive from online will only increase with time."
Over 400 manufactures and 150,000 individual items will be available online.
"Our third goal is to broaden inventory so that everyone with an interest in trains feels satisfied," says Ruble. "Everyone from the casual builder to the rabid rail fan should be able to find something. We are constantly looking for new designs, new artists ad new merchandise that our customers might like."
The new Caboose store will be located at 10800 West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, Colo., 80226. The phone number is 303-777-6766.
Before opening, Caboose will be accepting pre-orders through its website.