Shining Stars in the Retail Arena by Collin Keefa and Natalie Hope McDonald Shelves don't fill themselves: It's an old adage, but a store's character is often determined by what it sells. This makes a buyer's job especially painstaking. Coupled with the pressure to get good deals, buying becomes as much an art as a vocation. According to Michael Blumberg, Tweeter's senior vice president of purchasing, "It's not enough to just be a buyer. Most buyers never communicate about how [a product] should be merchandised, or how it fits into the store." Blumberg defined the better buyer as one who can cover
Car Toys' rise and expansion into a western retail juggernaut By David Dritsas Dan Brettler, Chairman & CEO of Car Toys, Inc, is sitting on top of one of the most successful regional retail chains in recent history. Car Toys stretches to 54 stores as far north as Washington state and as far south as Texas—a business built solely on mobile electronics, without the backing of traditional home audio/video products. But Brettler is no car audio enthusiast-turned-retailer. This man's hobby is his business. Brettler began his career selling hi-fi part-time in high school and also in college. In 1981 he moved to Seattle, getting
So many carriers, so many phones: Selling mobile phones requires careful qualification. Edited by Janet Pinkerton Hard Sell Profile: In 1992, Cindy Orth moved from an office job to selling mobile phones at Smith's Home Furnishings in Portland, Ore. Having already taken a Cellular One sales training course, Orth bested 80 applicants. When Smith's went out of business in 1995, she joined one of Car Toys' two Portland locations as its first wireless salesperson. Orth is now wireless manager at the Jantzen Beach, Ore., Car Toys, working for a retailer that sells multiple competing wireless carriers in each of its 39 locations.
A step-by-step formula for staying ahead of your competition and top-of-mind with your customers. By Dan Brettler When I started CAR TOYS in 1987, we didn't have a brand, just a business license. Instead, we had a business and a name to put on the building. When we opened our doors, we began the process of marketing CAR TOYS. Between 1987 and today, many competitors have come and gone from the Seattle and Portland market places. Pacific Stereo was here in the mid-'80s and their brand was built around having the lowest price. Silo came to town with prices cheaper than Pacific
The World's Most Famous Sound-Off By Brett Solomon DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.—It is hard to believe that sound-off stalwarts, manufacturers and a plethora of alcohol-enhanced teenagers descended upon Daytona Beach for the fifteenth year in a row. However, this year's Spring Break Nationals was arguably the best ever. First of all, according to the Daytona News Journal, this was the biggest student attendance of spring break in Daytona since 1989. That helped to set the atmosphere for strong attendance and enthusiasm for the Car Audio Expo in Daytona Beach's Ocean Center. Paul Papadeas, president of Spring Break Nationals ("The World's Most Famous Sound-Off and
Video is Upwardly MobileBy Markkus RovitoAs the one-hit wonder said, "Video Killed the Radio Star" when MTV hit in the early '80s. Now, video is at it again, as the mobile video category is beating back radio and CD to become "the shining star of the mobile electronics industry," according to Mike Cofield, president of Custom Sounds in Austin, Texas. Just as DVD and DTV are doing in the home electronics industry, mobile video is growing rapidly in a year that's been otherwise soft for CE sales. "The growth of the category is explosive," said Dan Brettler, chairman and CEO of Car