Forget sales gurus, showy spec sheets, or a big, fat spiff. For Lee Sherman and Mike Walker, partners at Hahn Appliance Warehouse in Tulsa, Okla., the most motivational words in retail sales this year are: Scratch and Dent.
"Average tickets are down, but the volume is still there if you work harder to get it," said Walker on the phone recently, having just taken out more deep-discount ads in the local paper. "We run these 'Scratch and Dent, Up to 50% Off' ads and it gets people in the building, and then 60-70 percent of them end up buying something new."
Calculated, savvy merchandising moves like these close-out calls-to-action have led to remarkable sales figures for Hahn's in the last few months, especially in light of both the wheezing economy and the highly competitive appliances market in Tulsa. Walker said sales have been up over 25 percent in the last eight months. Last year, they did $7 million and are on track to hit over $9 million in '09.