The Tough Get Tougher
We think the biggest thing independent retailers need to make sure is that they deliver a value to the consumer. When you have an event, there needs to be true savings, particularly in tougher economic times. Our ad budget will increase in 2008 about one percent to a percent and a half to gross, and we will tighten up the reins a bit elsewhere. Then once you get those footprints in the door, you have to make sure you’re selling somebody something—some value.
DEALERSCOPE: What do your manufacturer or industry partners have to improve to help you increase sales, profitability and incremental business?
n Baillio: On the electronics side, we like vendors who develop programs and rebates that go well with what the independent wants to do. Hopefully, they won’t come out with rebates that change every two weeks, which is what we had happen last year. We need something more steady. On the appliance side, Whirlpool-Maytag has been the most helpful. The merger has worked okay for us. They are supporting it and coming out with promotions that end at the right times. There’s even a Black Friday promo, and that’s unusual because Black Friday isn’t even an appliance thing.