Business Strategy

Guerrilla Retailing Life in the Fast Lane
March 1, 2005

Like Superman, business today has become faster than a speeding bullet. In their book, It's Not the BIG That Eat the SMALL, It's the FAST That Eat the SLOW (Harper Business), Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton identify the traits of seven of the world's fastest-growing companies. The underlying theme in the book is how to use speed as a competitive tool in business. The book appears to have been a textbook for Wal-Mart's success during the past holiday season. Jennings and Haughton identified a formula for success that includes fast thinking, fast decisions, getting to market faster and sustaining speed. The

Finders Keepers
January 1, 2005

Next to "show me the money," plenty of manufacturer/retail relationships are hinging on more of a "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. That's why Orlando, Fla.-based Channel Intelligence, a commerce data interchange service company, introduced SellPath, a solution that literally skips the middle step for consumers while simultaneously fattening retail pockets. In the most basic sense, manufacturers can implement the solution to direct consumers who may want to buy X brand to X retailers who sell it. Why this may be a lucrative solution depends considerably on online traffic patterns in general. "The funny thing is that retailers don't adopt it. Manufactures

Selling to Women
January 1, 2005

There's been a lot of talk lately about the female demographic. The CE business may have been considered a man's world in the past, but as this archaic notion is challenged, retailers and manufacturers are waking up to this brand of consumer. Some retailers are already well-attuned to the idea, creating showrooms and environments that appeal to women (and plenty of men, too). But there are other changes to make in the retail environment that will help dealers appeal to what women want, or don't want. This month, Dealerscope spoke with Jen Drechsler, co-director of brand consulting for Just Ask A Woman, a

A Final Word on Returns
January 1, 2005

Returns and exchanges are the dark side of retail, and most merchants would rather talk about something else. But returns, though they come with the territory—especially in this, the month following a busy holiday shopping season—don't always have to mean lost revenue and inefficiency for retailers and suppliers. There is an endless debate between retailers and suppliers regarding who should bear the responsibility for returned merchandise. The retail perspective is that a customer claims that the product is defective. Store personnel cannot dispute the claim or test a manufacturer's product and therefore, it's the vendor's problem. A manufacturer would respond that less than

Added Value, Warranties in 2005
January 1, 2005

The extended service plan business is thriving these days for a number of reasons. Clearly, with sales of new technologies on a steady rise, consumers seem to be more and more interested in knowing they won't have major problems if these products need repairs. "We're seeing more and more sales of products like LCD TVs, DLP projectors and HDTV-compatible sets," says Bruce Wolfson, senior vice president of sales at VAC. "People are changing and updating their major electronics more often nowadays as the technology grows and changes. Even though these products are becoming less and less expensive, we're still seeing lots of contract sales—they're

Small Business Survives
January 1, 2005

When we think of "retailing" we usually think of the likes of Wal-Mart, Sears, Best Buy, Circuit City, department stores or other national chains. But the "Challenges of the Future" report recently published by the National Retail Federation Foundation and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association reminds us that American business is still fueled by small business entrepreneurship. According to the study, 90 percent of American businesses employ less than 20 people. Small business is an important economic driver producing 40 percent of the GDP and two-thirds of the new jobs created in the past 25 years. Nearly 95 percent of all retailers boast

D&H Launches Sales Initiative for Microsoft Vista
January 1, 1904

To prepare dealers for expected shipments of “hundreds of thousands” of Microsoft Vista units and related products, D&H Distributing is launching training sessions, developing bundled packages and offering rebates and other promotions during its February “Vista Sales Driver” initiative. “Vista is one of the most anticipated launches in years. If dealers are prepared, they’ll find significant opportunities for upgrades, cross-sales and new business,” said Dan Schwab, vice president of marketing at D&H. “We’re giving our customers as much information and as many competitive tools as possible to help them maximize sales during the launch.” The initiatives include exclusive rebated bundles

January 1, 1904

On a recent weekday afternoon in mid-town Manhattan, a 16-year-old named Jonathan Juarez was riffing like he auditioning for a slot as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ next guitarist. Juarez sat for over an hour, guitar in hand, on a black stool in the demo gaming area of The City, playing along to the Chili Peppers’ anthems via Xbox 360’s Rock Band. “I’m not really skipping school,” he said, between sets, when asked how he managed to find the time for the mid-day session. “I just kind of left early.” Juarez wasn’t the only one escaping the regular weekday routine and getting hands-on

January 1, 1904

Sonos, a developer of wireless music distribution solutions, reported strong 2006 sales, a number of new initiatives and plans to reach more dealers in 2007. Sales last year jumped by 150 percent over 2005, with more than 100,000 units sold, the company reported. The number of households that bought a Sonos system increased by more than 120 percent over 2005, boosting incremental household sales by “tens of thousands,” according to the company, which is privately held and does not release specific sales figures. John MacFarlane, CEO of the Santa Barbara-based company, said sales through Tweeter’s 150 locations were particularly strong, fueled