As the winter slogs on, fewer customers are trafficking CE, appliance and furniture retailers. To adjust, retailers are running their businesses leaner, meaner and smarter than ever. For help, they are looking to their buying groups for guidance, cost-saving strategies and empathy.
Directors of some of the most prominent groups recently talked to us about the state of business and what they’re doing to help their partners soldier on. Here are some excerpts, taken from Dealerscope’s upcoming buying group roundtable, which focus on the impact Circuit City’s demise will have on the independent retail channel.
Bob Lawrence, CEO, Brand Source: We are aggressively going after the Circuit City customer. Traditionally, in situations like this, big-box stores and Sears would end up with the bulk of the business, but we don’t intend to let that happen. In November and December we offered 50 percent redemption on Circuit City gift cards, and we’ve now switched that promotion. Now that Circuit’s closed, we’re telling consumers to bring in their Circuit City credit card into a Brand Source store or send it into our Anaheim headquarters. They can redeem that for a $25 gift card and 12 months no interest on their next purchase. We’re going to keep the hammer down on those types of promotions. You figure that Circuit was $10.7 billion in CE sales? Guess what? Every one of those Circuit City customers also buys appliances and furniture and floor covering. So we believe if we can get them into a Brand Source store, for some category, we can convert them for everything.