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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Retail Cross-Selling Examples

Retail shoe department, Las VegasArthur Corbin, retail and lighting wizard, shared the following comments during an online chat in response to my post about Stores Within Stores Give Me Something To Talk About.

: Hi, Arthur!

6:04 AM Macy's had the store-within-the-store concept in the late 1970s and 1980s. A budget was available for store concepts that associates proposed. Floor space and stock was provided and if the concept was successful, more space and more resources were made available. The Cellar, a nationwide Macy's department, was one of the results of this creative period in Macy's evolution.

6:06 AM The classic store-within-the-store is the shoe department. This department was contracted out by the major department stores beginning in the early 1900's. Another is cosmetics.

Cosmetics can generate 50% of a store's profit so cosmetics is usually on the ground floor. Most of the expenses and stock of cosmetics departments are paid for by the manufacturers and department stores have little or no dollars in these departments.

[E.g., JC Penney and Sephora from Sephora's Beauty & the Blog]

6:08 AM Flooring companies need to think of their home owner customer that is remodeling and what other goods that customer might be looking for. Consider Miele appliances, Whirlpool laundry equipment, furniture, electronics, and soft goods as some possibilities. You can meet the sales managers of these companies at trade shows. Prepare a company vitae to show the sales managers what strengths your company has in your market, include customer testimonials. Remember, major companies are actively looking for ways to reach homeowners who are remodeling Trusted retailers can leverage their customer relationships, these relationships have value that extends over decades.

6:10 AM Visit ABC home in New York or a local artists co-operative or a farmers market for more examples of cross-selling opportunities. What regional goods need more exposure? What regional foods would bring people in to a special event?

[See Staycations and Groceraunts: Innovation in the Marketplace]

6:11 AM Use your parking lot, set up a tent, and have a meet the neighbors event. include a few non-profits. Store owners will find their brand can be extended to new categories of goods.

Ask an interior designer to give a 45 minute talk about home trends, serve great food and drink, and prepare a world class handout. Include your company history (see www.blancboutique.com and www.abchome.com for examples), the services and products you offer (the magic words are,"our companies history, experience, and selection save you time & money."), and customer testimonials. Add an offer, "buy the flooring, get a thank you gift." Emphasize that you are a locally based, family owned business.

Remember to market to different ethnic groups, be sure your sales people speak other languages, particularly Spanish. Many ethnic groups are looking to buy the best available quality and family members will pool their monies to enable one family member to make the better purchase.

[See Rethinking the Mall & Uncovering Retail Creativity]

6:13 AM Finally, use the Internet. Partner with an Internet site and have goods delivered to your store for pick up. Set up a comfortable internet order kiosk in a quiet part of your store to give your customers another reason to visit between remodels.

6:15 AM Retail is a verb. Getting by and doing what has always worked is not going to create sales in the next decade. We are all going to be working harder and putting in longer hours for the next few years as our financial system redefines itself. Ask your manufacturer's for help, ideas, and co-op dollars, they have lots of experience and resources.

Retail customers are looking for unique and enjoyable retail experiences, look at the success of Anthropologie. Our customers have become more selective about what stores they will visit and more selective about what stores will get their hard earned dollars.

6:16 AM Christine: You are so right! I love your examples - ABC is fascinating to experience.Thank you, Arthur. Best, CB

6:17 AM me: Keep up the writing about change and retail excitement. Most flooring stores are tepid at best.
These messages were sent while you were offline.
6:28 AM Christine: Arthur, I really appreciate your feedback.

6:30 AM Meant to add - you reminded me of the magical Bloomingdales' yearly Fall events where different countries were celebrated thruout the store in NYC for a month? or so. Talk about creating a reason for people to go back to the stores to experience a one of a kind event that was entertainment, education and inspiration.

[Read about Bloomingdale's history and the famous international fairs.]

Via email:
Macy's San Francisco does the Easter Flower Show that is also magical. Some of the begonias have been in each show for over 30 years. Macy's also does the Fashion show in SF and NY that benefits AIDS non-profits. The fashion shows are contracted out and usually sell out 2 shows.

GM had a series of vehicles called the Futureliners that toured the US in the 1930s and 1940s and showcased technology, science, and GM as an innovator. Something like that is needed for consumer goods to build excitement and to create demand.

Best wishes, Arthur

Thank you, Arthur, for sharing these wonderful examples of retail cross-selling ideas.

What other examples have you come across that effectively cross-sell and draw customers into stores?

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Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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