Editor’s Letter – October 2016

It’s time for your business to stand out from the crowd

If you’re reading this, it can only mean one of two things: 1) You’re my mother, or 2) You’re still in business. If the latter, congratulations!

Think of all the adversity you’ve faced just to read this letter. You fought through the 2008 recession and an ever-increasing threat from big boxes. You’ve put in 60-plus-hour work weeks and spent many a weekend at your second home (aka your store).

You’re probably feeling pretty good to have made it this far. But where will your store be in five years? Ten years? Fifteen?

There are thousands of home furnishings stores in this country, and sometimes I think it’s impossible to tell them apart. “We’re Acme Home Furnishings. Family owned and operated for four generations. Our great grandfather started the business 83 years ago. Nothing’s changed in those 83 years. We still carry the finest selection, best customer service and greatest value in the area.”

Sound familiar? I thought so. Ask yourself this question: Do today’s customers care how old you are? Maybe your loyal ones do, but, like newspaper readers, they’re a dying breed. What are you doing to attract the next generation of loyal customers?

Everyone claims great value and excellent customer service. What are you doing to stand out from the crowd? Here’s my challenge for you: For one week, be the customer and define yourself from their perspective. Watch your staff from afar. Mystery-shop your store. Stand for something—anything. As long as it’s not what every other home furnishings store stands for.

And remember, your store includes your online presence. Does your website look like every other home furnishings site?

Now’s the time to separate yourself from the herd and leap ahead of your competitors. We hope this issue of RetailerNOW helps inspire you to do just that.