How This Apparel Retailer Modernized Their Back-of-House

An apparel retailer for over 25 years, Alyce Preston opened Alyce on Grand ten years ago. In 2015, she brought on business partner Kalu Gebreyohannes. Hear how Square has saved them time and allowed them to focus on what really matters.
Apr 18, 2024 — 2 min read



 Alyce Preston is the owner of Alyce on Grand in Oakland, CA.


Alyce Preston: I love the stuff that the younger girls wear.

Kalu Gebreyohannes: Whatchu trying to say? I was a floozy?

Alyce Preston: No. Hi, I'm Alice Preston and I started Alyce and Grand about 10 years ago.

Kalu Gebreyohannes: My name is Kalu Gebreyohannes. I partnered with Alice almost eight years ago. So for me, Alyce on Grand symbolizes and stands for number one, a female black owned business in Oakland. There's not very many black fashion owned boutiques in Oakland, and she's one of the oldest ones standing.

Alyce Preston: Before I used a credit card machine, I would write out receipts, use their little credit card and swipe it on the machine. So one day this young lady came in and I was writing out her receipt and she's like, what are you doing? And I'm like, something's different here. And so that's when I started to look into finding something else.

Kalu Gebreyohannes: After doing research, we landed on Square to be our POS system and it changed our lives as far as efficiency and inventory and being able to hyperfocus on things that were selling really well.

Alyce Preston: When Square came in, it just simplified everything for me.

Kalu Gebreyohannes: You type in the SKU, it comes up. Everything just feels super second nature. We also are able to capture email addresses and have them subscribe to newsletters, and so we're able to kind of get that communication past the sale. Having the ability to use Square to just check in and out, tap swipe is also really important for our customers.

Alyce Preston: Before I would try to do everything at the end of the week, so I have to calculate all the sales, all the taxes, what solved, what didn't sell. So with Square, I just go to the dashboard and it's all calculated everything.

Kalu Gebreyohannes: Their support team and system has been great. We feel like we have access to that support, but also we kind of feel empowered to be able to use the programming and the app really well because it's just that self-explanatory square definitely allows us to use our time in the way that matters to us. Just allows us to kind of pivot where we spend our energy.

Time is probably one of the most precious things we have, and so if you can find a way to be efficient, then we get a bit of our time back to be able to do other things that really matter.

Products mentioned

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Square Retail POS

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Running out or having excessive stock are bad for your bottom line. Learn inventory management techniques to have the right products when you need them.

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