Business Strategy

Conctacts: John Hightower, Tweeter Store Manager, Wilmington, DE
December 7, 2006

Got a soft spot for Godiva chocolates? Do some business with some of John Hightower’s salespeople and you’re likely to find a big basket of caramels, truffles, pralines and ganaches on your doorstep. “We do lots and lots of follow up with our customers,” says Hightower, the manager of Tweeter’s newest “concept store” in Wilmington, Delaware. “We have to make it a pleasure. We put the names of our salespeople and our intallers on the gift basket card.” Hightower’s store pulls in about 8-9 million dollars in sales each year, but he’s hoping that a new showfloor design and sales strategy will up

Shop Talk: John Sullivan, President J.G. Sullivan Interactive
December 5, 2006

“The internet is evolving and it’s going local. Search engines are now desperately trying to get local information because 25 percent of all searches are for local information. When you type in ‘pizza,’ you don’t want Domino’s national headquarters, you want the local pizza guy on the corner....So, dealers need to go to www.google.com/base and begin listing and describing all their authorized-to-sell products. The site will take you through the process. Then, [your products and website] will start to appear on search returns as a little shopping bag [a small icon that comes up on Google search results]. The shopping bag is

Retail Forward Analyzes Target Game Plan
December 5, 2006

By opening 600 new stores in the next five years, Target may approach $100 billion in 2010 sales, according to a new report by Retail Forward. “Target 2010: Growth and Outlook” suggests that in addition to opening new stores, Target must grow sales at current outlets, take sales from competitors, get more from current customers and generate more online sales in order to achieve its goals. The report notes that after 2010, room for growth in major urban areas may run out, forcing target to look at more mid-sized markets or global locations such as Canada and Asia. In addition, the

Sony Promises Retailers Holiday Help
December 5, 2006

Sony Electronics executives say they’re in full get-out-the-sale mode this holiday month, hoping to drive foot traffic into the doors of their retail partners. President and COO of Sony Electronics Stan Glasgow says the company is looking into all manner of content collaborations, promotions, and “opportunities in bundling” this quarter. Marketing strategies include the distribution of over 50 million newspaper inserts, glossy spreads featuring professional golfer turned spokesmodel Michelle Wie, throughout the U.S. during December and January. President of consumer sales Jay Vandenbree says 1,000 Sony reps are travelling around the country as well, providing hands-on assistance to salespeople on retail showfloors.

Everyone’s Business
December 1, 2006

Supply chain management is not just a way to control expenses but also a way to increase sales and profits. While IT and operations executives are primarily involved in this area of specialization more and more, marketing and sales are discovering the value and return-on-investment (ROI) of managing the flow of goods and information between the factory and retailer, and ultimately into the hands of the consumer. For those who utilize supply chain management to its full potential, it has become a source of competitive advantage that needs to be understood and practiced throughout various levels of an organization. At the same time as

Scrapbooking
December 1, 2006

Although scrapbooking is one of the hottest activities in the arts and crafts market, the art of preserving memorabilia and memories in book form can be traced back for centuries in one form or another. Perhaps the most interesting bit of history is that Mark Twain was a prolific “scrapbooker,” gathering and pasting bits of his life and travels into an estimated 300 scrapbooks. In fact, he probably held the first patent on a scrapbook product when, in 1872, he developed a self-adhesive scrapbook, which allowed users to moisten a pre-glued area of a page and simply press the item into place—an innovation that,

Extending the ‘Market Basket’
December 1, 2006

You hear it all the time: Step 1. Sell more warranties with every purchase. Step 2. Profit. But in between these two unmistakable maxims lies a laundry list of critical steps that often get missed; and not because you and your sales associates don’t know what they are, and certainly not because you’re not ready and willing to employ them. They get missed because you don’t have the right tools at your disposal to complete the warranty sale. And that’s where a company like Value Added Services (VAS) hopes to make your life a little easier. Based in Southlake, Texas, VAS offers a lot of different answers to

New Tricks
December 1, 2006

Fred and Jamie Ernst, married proprietors of Quick as a Flash in Vacaville, Calif., are by no means resistant to change, they’re just really honest about how tough it can be. “Learning digital technology hasn’t been easy for me,” says Fred. “I mean, it took me a year to learn how to use an ATM.” Don’t let his modesty fool you, though. Fred Ernst has, through remodeling, retooling, and business savvy, been the only one of six photo specialty retailers to stay open in Sonalo County, a Bay-area suburb, since the digital transition. Not only has their business survived, Fred and Jamie have recently

Holiday Milestones
December 1, 2006

Plasmas $499! Only 10 in stock!!!! GET ONE NOW!!! Sound familiar? For some these words were all too familiar and quite loud on Black Friday this year. And while many retailers, large and small reported that floor traffic was up, some trends are getting people worried, namely the drastic reduction in the average selling price of the previously premium flat panel category. Once the savior of the television category, retailers saw prices dip well below $1,000, spurred on by a charge on the vendor side to unload product, and the willingness of big box and national discount chains to take a loss on

Information Ammo
December 1, 2006

Legislation signed by the President this year setting the final cutoff of analog broadcasts marks the final stage of the DTV transition. Although this mandate will have the largest affect on manufacturers and broadcasters, it is the retailers who will do most of the work explaining it to consumers. In addition to knowing how to sell the features and benefits of new digital sets and set-top boxes, you will also likely be faced with tougher questions, like “will my old equipment stop working?” Seize this opportunity to walk them through what to expect with the transition and explain all their options for