Bob Walsh

Amber Dinh, “VIP Concierge” for Starpower, a home theater retail chain in Dallas, Texas “I often pick the brains of people in other parts of the retail market. It’s almost like a religion: if you want to be strong in your own, what you need to do is go study others’ to give you a foundation. Buyers from Nordstroms and Saks 5th Avenue have given me ideas about how to best serve customers. Just this past weekend, I threw a birthday party for one of our clients … decorated the store with 200 balloons, a fountain flowing with champagne, the works. Two hundred people showed

Though the northern New Jersey area is home to some of the highest-income consumers in the country, it’s also the stage for cut throat retail competition. One of the survivors among appliance retail chains is the Karl’s Appliance seven-showroom operation. Karl’s Chief Operating Officer, Bob Walsh, has a simple explanation for their success: “Niceties separate us from the pack. Karl’s is an experience.” The experience, says Walsh, is the result of salespeople refusing to push product as if they were used car salesmen. “We understand now that a customer’s first visit isn’t necessarily the sale visit,” says Walsh. “People come in looking

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