For the second year in a row, JVC is going on tour. They’re taking two tricked out buses – one for the east, another for the west – and giving retailers the low-down on their new products, in particular the JVC Everio hard drive camcorder and the HD-ILA rear projection TV line. When the The JVC Perfect Experience Road Tour bus rolls into town (Tampa, Dallas, San Diego, Chicago and New York, among them), it hits three of four stores a day, taking the sales staff of each onto the bus for 15 minute training sessions on the products. Hitting 34
PAUL VARIBAULT (Auburn, Maine) There is a free lunch, America, and it’s cooked each week by the marketing manager at Agren Appliance Stores, Paul Varibault. Each Wednesday, Varibault turns the Viking display kitchen at Agren’s Auburn store into a working diner, offering customers a plate of his own specials, from mini-meatball subs to rueben chicken casserole complete with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. “Our customers are delighted,” says Varibault. “Often, they are trying to squeeze in an appliance purchase during their lunch hour, so this is nice for them.” The “customers lunch with us” tradition started close to three years ago, when a one-time cooking
Rising prices for energy and raw materials are slowing growth in service industries according to a report by The Institute for Supply Management. In the meantime, prices paid by retailers and builders are at their highest since September. The Federal Reserve predicted such changes and is considering a halt on its current interest-rate increases. In another sign of an economic slowdown, employers hired fewer employees in May than they have in the last seven months. Some credit these retail woes to high gasoline prices which are shaking consumer confidence. Put simply, if it costs too much to drive to
“We’ve had rain for two months. We’re selling some dehumidifiers because of damp basements, but our high-end appliance sales have slowed a bit, partly because it’s just hard to build a house when it’s pouring out. The soil’s saturated. If I were a sump pump dealer, I’d probably be rich!” -Douglas Agren, Owner of Agren Appliance Stores, a 5-store chain in Maine, on high-end appliances sales this spring in the Northeast.
Wal-Mart announced plans today to launch stores targeting specific demographics, including “suburban affluent,” “rural,” “boomers,” “urban/multicultural” and “Hispanic.” In part inspired by the company’s experience opening stores in other countries, the plan has already seen results in an Evergreen Park, IL store remerchandised for a multicultural demographic and a Plano, TX test store for high income shoppers. Each of these stores have demonstrated a financial edge over their sister stores in the area.
J.D. Power and Associates recently completed a survey which concludes that cell phone features such as color screens, text messaging and cameras matter very little compared to style and cost when customers deliberate over a purchase. In fact, cameraphones, speakerphones and color screens each motivated the same number of resondents (12 percent) to buy a particular model. 39 percent of users chose their phone based on “style.” 29 percent, the next highest group, chose their phone because of its cost –- namely, free. In spite of the lack of motivating power these features may possess when it comes to buying a phone, use of
Stay tuned for new installments of weekly features here in Dealerscope Today, including... Tuesday - Take a look at the statistics shaping the retail world in DealerData. Wednesday - Learn secrets from the retail floor in Passwords. Thursday - Find out about your fellow retailers in Contacts. Friday - We continue to bring you news about People on the Move.
HP’s new rp5000 Point of Sale bundle combines elements that, up until now, were only available from multiple vendors. Retailers can now purchase a POS system that includes a receipt printer, cash drawer scanner, keyboard and touchscreen for $3,600 (includes software, operating system and rp5000 product). Retailers can also choose to buy these elements separately. The rp5000 is based on open standards, so peripherals from other vendors may work as well. The system also provides automatic sales tracking, inventory tracking and a customer information capture application. -David Thomas
Crumpler, the hipster-luring Australian-based accessories manufacturer and retailer, will kick off a nine-day “Beer for Bags” sale tomorrow in Manhattan, allowing customers to come in off the street and exchange bottles and cases of beer for computer, camera, or messenger bags. (This from the company’s ever-innovative marketing department that once put its jolly stick-figure logo on those little stickers you find on fruit.) Though Crumpler products (including covers for iPods and PDA’s) are carried in retail outlets across the country, the specialty bag retailer recently opened a signature custom bag store in Greenwich Village. A second Crumpler store is on Spring Street in
Dealerscope: How has your overall mobile electronics business been over the past year—are you up, down, or about on par with the same period in 2005? Mike Cofield: It’s good—up about five percent. Business has met our expectations. Mehdi Narimanian: We’re up, thanks to bigger-ticket items. There’s lots of negative news out there on mobile electronics in general. But our navigation, video and satellite radio business has helped other categories. Dan Jeancola: We’re up over the year before, but within the business itself, the industry is in transition. Between categories it’s shifting pretty dramatically. Core car sources in the industry are depressed, but