A view of the industry through the
eyes of a chain buyer.
We're All in This Together
We may sell different products,
but our challenges and strategies are the same.
by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender (September 17, 2007)
In all of our travels, and at all of the conventions where we
present, one thing's for sure: each retail segment, whether it's
craft stores, art supply stores, ceramic stores, or hardware stores,
retailers insistent upon keeping their identities. That's a good
thing. We would never ask, or even suggest, that a retail store lose
its industry-specific identity. However, we do stress that every
retailer has a lot more in common with retailers from other
industries than they do that's different. As good business people,
we must all understand that.
Retailers from every industry have a lot on their plates,
including customers who demand their undivided attention and expect
new and wonderful product and applications each and every day; daily
store operations; advertising and marketing responsibilities;
never-ending employee issues; plus the desire to lead a balanced
family life. And if they're open, they can help one another.
Why re-invent the wheel when you can share ideas with someone who
has walked in your shoes?
There's a danger in thinking that a technique used by another
industry will not work for you. Our creative industry retailers are
savvy enough to be able to take any idea, from any industry, tweak
it, and make it work for them in their own stores. Right now, all of
the best ideas in customer care are coming from the hospitality
industry. Does that mean creative retailers should ignore what this
industry is doing? Of course not.
We suspect that the retailers at Memorytrends will be
cataloging the unique customer comforts they enjoy in Las Vegas –
and what they find will end up in some way, shape or form, in their
For several of years we spoke at a trade show that required us to
only share stories about their particular industry. It was far too
limiting, for us, and for the retailers. The stores grew stagnant
because they could never look farther than their own front doors.
At the CHA Winter Show a couple of years ago, we led a Las Vegas
retail store tour. We took a bus full of retailers to Mandalay Place
(a shopping mall located in the sky bridge that connects the
Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos. The stores were chosen specifically
for their "Shoppertainment" value); The Forum Shops at
Caesars (said to be the highest retail-dollars-per-square-foot in
the world); and New York-New York Hotel & Casino (THE best
example of pure branding consistency we've ever found).
There wasn't a craft/scrapbook/quilt/needlepoint store in any
place we stopped, yet our "tourists" learned a lot that
they took back to implement in their own stores. We're doing a
similar tour in January 2008 for the flooring industry at Surfaces
Expo. And in November, we're doing a half day session on store
design and visual merchandising for the International Pool & Spa
Expo, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of Walk Disney World.
Think retailers who sell swimming pools can learn anything about
running a store from Disney? You bet they can.
The same time-honored visual merchandising techniques we use in
creative industry stores also work in apparel and appliance and gift
stores. And even in, yes, funeral homes; we're currently working on
a long term project creating plan-o-grams for the funeral industry.
The same techniques that work on paints and accessories work just as
well for caskets, vaults, and cremation urns.
We hope that every single retailer in our industry is willing to
take the industry-specific blinders off and keep their eyes open for
new ideas. Wherever those ideas come from. We tell every one of our
seminar attendees to call us anytime they want to brainstorm new
ideas for their stores. And we mean it. All they have to do is call!
Here's the number: 888.215.1839.
Kizer & Bender's Memorytrends Seminars.
Monday, Sept. 17, 1:00- 2:30 pm. Session B6: "Turned On
Regardless of how well prepared you are to do business or how
well defined your business plan, if the people in your store –
from stock person to store manager – are not Turned On and
Excited, your customers won’t be either. We’ll share tips on
recruiting, hiring, and keeping top performers. Learn how to
motivate your team, ideas for employee incentives that work, and how
to inspire each team members to deliver incredible customer service.
Monday, Sept. 17, 3:00-4:30 pm. Session B8: "The Inside
Secrets of Scrapbooking's Charisma Retailers"
Why do some scrapbook stores thrive while others fail? What makes
one scrapbook store great and another just a place to buy stuff?
Easy. The retailer makes the difference. So, if you’re ready to
learn concepts and strategies that sell; if you’re prepared to
embrace programs that no competitor can knock off; if you’re
willing to do whatever it takes to make YOUR store special, unique,
and unforgettable; and if you’re ready to shine, shine, shine,
then join KIZER & BENDER and learn what it takes to unleash your
Wednesday, Sept. 19: 5:30–7:00 pm "Meet the Millennials
Panel Discussion Event"
Retail experts Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender introduce you to
one of the most powerful generations, the Millennials, by bringing
these 20-somethings directly to you. They will share how they shop,
why they shop, and what they shop for. Is scrapbooking appealing to
them, what styles, what products? What advertising messages do they
respond to, how do you reach them, will they be loyal? Straight from
their own mouths, you'll learn this and much more.
Thursday, Sept. 20: 8:00-9:30 am "Mardi Gras Madness
Retailer Roundtable Breakfast Event"
If learning, laughing, catching beads, and crowning queens sounds
like a good time to you, then join Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender
for our not-to-be-missed 2007 Mardi Gras Marketing Madness - a
MemoryTrends tradition that puts YOU in the spotlight. You'll leave
with pages of event and marketing ideas!
Tuesday, Sept.18 & Wednesday, Sept.19 9:00-5:00 pm One-on-One
Take advantage of this unique opportunity for individual
consultation with retail experts Kizer & Bender. They'll help
you with customer service, merchandising, employee relations, and
much more. For an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.