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FROM THE EDITOR: Floors, Floors & More Floors

Hi everyone!

Last week I was fortunate to deliver a presentation on the customer experience and how merchandising and retail space impacts this at the COVERINGS show in Las Vegas. This was my second year in a row speaking at this event, and I not only enjoyed delivering a presentation again to many of their attendees, but also enjoyed walking their show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The COVERINGS show just celebrated its 25th Anniversary as the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 35 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. Additionally, the COVERINGS show serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry,  offering more than 80 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show that are all free of charge. As a fan of education, I have always been impressed with their education sessions and value the fact that they also care so much about the impact education has on their attendees. Kudos to Liz from their team for helping to bring this all to life!

It’s always fun to see how attendees react to my presentations, which naturally I hope means they are both inspired and better educated as a result of. Following this particular presentation and like many others I deliver, a crowd of attendees came up to me after I was done speaking to further gain insight on their own stores, retail challenges or simply to say “thanks”. One guy in particular stood out last week, telling me that he was a second generation store owner who felt his business was still living in the 80’s (yes, the 80’s… as in over thirty years ago). I was curious what this meant from his perspective exactly ( I certainly had my own immediate thoughts ) and found out they have no store signage, poor floor tile on their own store floors ( remember… they sell floor tile )  and no marketing strategy. This includes not being online or using email marketing to support their business.

The 15 minutes that followed included countless references, examples, ideas and other “next step” solutions to help this retailer move forward in his retail practices. Yet as he was moving on to his next session and excusing himself, he very simply said…

Thanks for the ideas, I wish I could use them.”

Naturally I was curious why he said “wish” versus “will try”.

His reply?

We don’t make any money to budget for these things and can’t afford to give our store a face lift, small or large.”

Now, I certainly understand it takes money to make money… but I couldn’t help but think “how can you make money if you don’t spend money” too?

Every retailer – including this hard working, second generation tile store owner – has choices to make, and certainly I respect that. But I also want to share this one thought, as well…

In order to stay competitive, relevant and profitable in retail today, you must incorporate strategies to help you do this. Ignoring modern retail realities, as well as letting your store gather dust from decades past, will NOT benefit your business. 

I am proud of this retailer for flying to Las Vegas to attend the COVERINGS show and respect his efforts for wanting to learn more and do more… even if he feels his hands are tied. He reminded me of something else, as well, while speaking with him, and that is that it’s much harder to dig yourself out of a deeper hole of failed retail efforts versus a small little one that you may currently be in. With this in mind, I hope you can identify your own holes and business challenges NOW before it may become too late.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful day and successful sales… now and always!

Till next time, happy retailing!

 

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle 
Founder | Publisher | Editor 
Retail Minded Magazine 

 


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