February 14, 2007

“Dealers think TV is out of their budget, but many cable companies sell ad time for anywhere from $3 to $50 for a thirty-second spot. I bought a Notre Dame game for $20 on Thanksgiving weekend! Plus, remember, most cable companies will give you a lot of free runs too. I believe it’s as easy to run a spot on cable now as it is to run a newspaper ad.” -Stephen Bryant, President, The Bryant Group, Inc. (a media content partner for the Nationwide Marketing Group) based in Atlanta, Ga

February 1, 2007

On Saturday morning, a day before the fatal winds and rains of Hurricane Katrina were designated a Category 5, David Guidry was holding his regular weekly meeting with the staff at Lakeside Camera and Imaging, his photo specialty business in Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans. He told his salespeople he planned to ride this storm out. It seemed a plausible idea at the time. After all, the store had roll-down steel shutters installed long before to protect the place from the rowdy patrons of a nightclub just around the corner, and the place had withstood many seasons of hurricane threats and storms

Pleased To Meet You
February 1, 2007

I just wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the new editor-in-chief of Dealerscope. I look forward to seeing and meeting you all as soon as possible. Before I do anything else, though, here is my contact info: (631) 427-0604 (office), (516) 477-2665 (mobile) and Contact me as often as you like to share any ideas that will help us in providing you with the best possible information, tools and news coverage to help your business thrive. While the job of a reporter and editor might seem quite different from that of a retailer, manufacturer, distributor or buying group, our goals are

The New World
January 1, 2007

The line wraps around the block of South Main Street in East Los Angeles even before the store opens. Latino families wait together, many from Mexico, and South and Central America. Many of these customers are new to the United States, but they’ve already seen a Spanish-language flyer or have been told by a relative where they can go to buy a television, sofa or microwave from someone who speaks their language. That’s how they end up at Dearden’s, a six-floor, one-stop-shop for electronics, furniture, jewelry and travel. While Dearden’s has been in business since 1910, the L.A. chain has been attracting Hispanic customers

January 1, 2007

My brothers and I run the business,” says Chuck Lim, vice president of sales and marketing at Reborn Lifestyle in Garden Grove, Calif. Though Lim and his family have been living in the United States for more than 30 years, Reborn, an appliance and electronics retailer with a considerable Asian customer base, has been in business for a little under five. ”We’re 30 miles from downtown L.A.,” says Lim. “We have a rather big Asian community here. And we have our niche market, our ethnic market.” Lim says Reborn is like Circuit City for a lot of Asian immigrants. “We have 30,000 square

January 1, 2007

Once decried as the doom of bricks-and-mortar retailing, the Internet is now the backbone for a technology-driven retailer’s competitive strategy, whether or not that retailer sells online. In this package of stories for the 2007 International CES, Dealerscope examines how the Internet and its search engines have changed the fundamental relationship between retailers and their customers, and how retailers are working to attract and maintain customers in light of that change. The rise of the Internet search engines has been steady: Google moved out of beta in 1999, Yahoo! launched its own search engine in early 2004, and MSN Search launched in January 2005.

You Are the Expert
January 1, 2007

Eleven years ago Lisa Myers, a university teacher with a Ph.D in English, opened her store, hoping to carve a niche with the many local moms and young women in her neighborhood—a semi residential street, parallel to the main shopping drag in Philadelphia’s Center City. She made her decision to quit teaching and start retailing, and she imagined her days would be spent selecting product, pricing goods, and standing at the counter ringing up sales to customers who would just come in the door. But Lisa’s store soon faced stiff competition. When she first opened, she had a niche, but soon there were multiple

Bucking the Big-Box
January 1, 2007

The 29-year-old retail/custom establishment Pacific Sound & Video boasts three outlets in what president Jamie Stephens characterizes as “three very unique markets” in North Dakota—and manages to cater successfully to local needs and tastes that vary surprisingly widely in each. Business in the Bismarck market at his flagship store “is just screaming now,” says Stephens. Even though a Best Buy is just a block away, Bismarck betters the big-box by being able to “sell customers the TV they saw in Best Buy. Then all of a sudden, we’re in their home and taking them to a $15,000 sale by selling them in-wall speakers and

Tips for Raising Your Google Profile
December 22, 2006

Dealerscope asked Google, the top search engine in the U.S., how dealers can raise their search profile. The response, from Tom Oliveri, Google’s Group Product Marketing Manager, includes advice for both pay-per-click advertising and website optimization for “natural” searches. Q: What are the top three things consumer technology retailers should do to improve their communication with consumers via the Internet and search engines like Google? How can smaller dealers—the dealers who are not Best Buy and Fry’s Electronics, and who may not be actually selling on the web—secure the right kind of exposure to the right customers via Google? Google’s Oliveri: Google AdWords is a great

Harte-Hanks to Market Ulitmate
December 13, 2006

Ultimate Electronics has signed on with direct and target marketing company Harte-Hanks with plans to further employ its Allink Advantage database marketing product. Harte-Hanks is contracted to produce an integrated database marketing solution for Ultimate Electronics while providing analysis of the company’s customer base as well as multichannel dialogues with customers through the Harte-Hanks Postfuture platform for e-mail delivery. Says David Smith, senior vice president of marketing for Ultimate Electronics, “There is an inherent value in understanding our existing customers and prospects, so we chose a database marketing solution that allows for real-time analysis and reporting on customer profiles and purchasing behavior.”