Home Apparel Twitter map of APP logo

Apparel Magazine


Welcome, Guest |   Sign In   |   Register  
Apparel Magazine
Print Email Page RSS Feeds

Posted Date: 10/1/2003

Retail: Re-Defining the Modern 'People' Business

By  Kathleen DesMarteau

When you meet retailers who really love what they do, it shows. Their voices grow excited and their faces animated as they describe their target customer, and the latest strategy they have for winning his or her business.

Their passion for the business - and their subsequent success at it - always seems to connect to the fact that they enjoy the art of merchandising, the nuance of a smooth sale, the thrill of hitting a trend dead-on and the promise of ongoing profits from happy, loyal customers. After all, in many ways, retailing is the ultimate "people" business. Those who succeed have a great understanding of people, their wants and their needs. Of course, the leading players also know how to fulfill those wants and needs efficiently, profitably and with innovation.

Following are some of the most interesting perspectives I have heard lately from executives who run very diverse businesses yet share surprising similarity in their consumer-focused mindsets.

We need to be everywhere that people are running. Of our customer base, no 1 percent of consumers live in the same zip code. - Bill Ness, president, Road Runner Sports, an Internet-based running footwear and apparel retailer, addressing why the firm has not pursued brick-and-mortar expansion.

The retail business is all about common sense, your basic blocking and tackling. Yet it's never static. There are always new developments in product, and new challenges in meeting consumers' needs. Plus, you get to see your "report card" in your sales results every day. - Joe Scarlett, chairman and CEO, Tractor Supply Co., and chairman, International Mass Retail Association (IMRA).

Don't fall prey to "analysis paralysis," such as delaying contact with the consumer until you think you are certain of what she wants and how she wants to be informed about it. The important thing is to continuously stay at the forefront of the consumer's mind with frequent reminders. - John Vassos, general manager of merchandising and marketing, Hbc Direct, Hudson's Bay Co., on the firm's e-mail marketing campaigns.

Our customers don't like to talk about themselves in response to attempts to gather information about them in focus groups, etc. We know that many are unemployed, or are in desperate financial shape. Many also are extremely stressed for time. - David Perdue, CEO, Dollar General Corp., which is opening two new stores a day on average across the United States.

I admire the down-to-earth, steady focus each of these retailers has on his business and its consumer, and look forward to following their companies' growth and successes.

Rate this Content (5 Being the Best)
Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)


Discover How To Keep Up With More of Your Mobile Customers
6/24/2014 11:00:00 AM (EST)
Susan Nichols, Publisher, Apparel Magazine
Ron Klein, "Total Retail" Service Leader, PwC Advisory
Annabelle Hoover, Director of Customer Service, North America, BROOKS SPORTS, INC.
Marie-Pascale Authie, Solution Consultant, Infor Fashion
Bob McKee, Industry Strategy Director, Infor Fashion
View On Demand

Planning in the Omnichannel World with a Single View of Inventory
5/13/2014 11:00:00 AM (EST)
Susan Nichols, Publisher, Apparel Magazine
Rich Pedott, Partner, Columbus Consulting
Peter Charness, SVP America’s & CMO, TXT MAPLE LAKE
View On Demand

The Reinvention of B2B eCommerce The Reinvention of B2B eCommerce
Online sales and marketing vehicles are one of the most important channels fashion has for engaging with customers, but optimizing the value of your electronic interactions can be a complex undertaking. Front-end websites must be user-friendly and smart, but just as critical is tight integration to the back office systems used to produce, manage, and control the products you sell. If you cannot create an online platform that delivers across all fronts, you’re missing critical opportunities to engage with customers, increase sales, and extend your market reach across global time zones. Read this White Paper – authored by Bob McKee, Infor Industry Strategy Director, where he will share insights into the eCommerce market and just how Fashion companies can deliver on a 24/7 sales economy.

Download Now

Benefit-Based Promotions: How to Capture Real Value Without Giving Away the Store Benefit-Based Promotions: How to Capture Real Value Without Giving Away the Store
L.E.K. Consulting discusses how retailers can avoid promotional traps by using the benefit-based promotional strategy to garner higher same-store sales and more profitable and incremental sales.
Download Now

All materials on this site Copyright Edgell Communications. All rights reserved.