The Drive for Success
4. Customer Service. Though Car Toys has grown, it still uses some of the techniques common among smaller, specialty retailers. "We do special things like call customers three days after they make a purchase. Just about everybody gets a Thank You card and then the majority of our customers get a phone call just thanking them for their purchase," said Brettler. Car Toys also has a 24-hour customer service pager in every market so that if a customer has a problem that is extremely inconveniencing, he or she can call somebody on duty. He says that they don't have too many emergencies and joked about one experience in which an 18-year-old called when his woofer blew on a Friday night.
5. Market entrance. When Car Toys goes into a market, it does so aggressively. It goes into a market and builds out. When Brettler decided to expand Car Toys into Texas, it began with three stores in Dallas a year and a half ago. Last September, it entered Houston with five stores. Today there are 21 in Texas in all. "We'll stay in that market until that market's fully built out, because we've learned over the years that an average Car Toys customer will drive about 13 minutes to a Car Toys store," Brettler said.
Though the recipe does not change, Brettler and his team have had to adjust to make it work. One of the biggest changes the store had to make was its advertising scheme. When companies like Best Buy began to proliferate across the country, traditional, promotional, print advertising was becoming less effective for Car Toys, so the company turned to the broadcast medium.