Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where are retail's stars?

What retailing needs is a few "stars" -- retail industry leaders that you can name off the top of your head. I doubt that most Americans could name a single retailer now that Sam Walton is gone. Maybe Dave Longaberger (oops ... also deceased) or Anita Roddick (from her days with Body Shop). Paco Underhill is known in the industry but not outside.

Why don't more retailers use their founder or CEO as the spokesperson for the company? It gives the business a human face and makes identifying with the company much easier. How much are Steve Jobs and Lee Iacocca worth as the public representatives of those firms?

Give your business your face. Self-promotion is good for retailers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Attract shoppers with holiday retail events

The Downtown Holiday Open House attracted hundreds of shoppers to the stores in downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. For 32 years the event has helped kick-off seasonal sales in the historic city. Free parking at a new parking garage was an added attraction. Merchants offered snacks and drinks, and stores were well decorated.

Marilee Meek, president of Downtown Retail Marketing Inc. and co-owner of The Pavilion, said downtown stayed super busy.

"Every storekeeper had said that they have had a great day," she said yesterday afternoon.

Owner Ann Adkins said the open house weekend brings in the highest sales of the year for her Ladybug Gift Shop on Caroline Street.

Old Time Carriage Company owner Roger Evans said his business was "extremely busy."

What is your retail merchant association doing to make cash registers ring this holiday season? Get active. There's power (and money) in cooperation.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Retailing in Jamaica

The challenges of retail management are different outside the United States. How would you like to deal with extortion and a lack of public order?

The Jamaica Gleaner has an interview with Micheal Ammar Sr. and Michael Ammar Jr. Their family name is synonymous with clothing and dry goods retailing in Jamaica.