Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90)
This week I want to yak about steamy vacuums that are all followed by zilch numbers of all-wet summer statistics.
Oh! No! You cry. "What's the old geezer up to now? The industry has enough problems selling furniture and bedding, and now this guy wants us to start stocking vacuuming cleaners? Before we know it," you say, "Grandpa Mike-e-e will be rambling on about market detergents that can clean up bum accounts receivable, with double coupon days following next on the menu."
Uh! Uh! Wrong again!
Those are not the kind of vacuums I have in my small mind. The vacuums I'm pointing to are empty places where all the air has been sucked out. It’s the summer sales vacuum that leaves many furniture retailers gasping for air and knocking their heads against a “stone wall”.
It's a time when the days and nights are not exactly hotsy-totsy from a sales perspective, and salespeople, managers and owners tear out the little hair they still have left! I call them "stone wall" days because almost everyone zeros in on selling the same stubborn merchandise they have laying around in their warehouses.
So what is the end-result of such head-beating? It’s the giving-away of merchandise wet with tears. Bingo! It's the same plot finale whether you do it, "For one day only" or for that "Preferred customer only." It makes no difference because the finale is always the same. To quote one of my darling associates: "They're identically the same."
The sad part is that few look for new faces, new pocketbooks and fresh credit cards. I repeat the sensitive chant: Look towards products and sales-techniques that are more difficult to approach and, of course, more unique to profit from, and certainly super exclusive to find. Gee! Whiz!
Are the nifty shots too tough to approach? Nope. Are they hiding in the basement? Nope, They've been targeted time and time again no one wants to be the first to yell "Charge!!!" Why? It’s because we are frightened and bashful and no one wants to be the first to be first. Scared is the right adjective! Scared of riot being the first to being sales-gratified... 24 hours a day.
Result? So we end up slamming our heads against the price barrier wall again and again. Oy! Vey! (I'm crying my eyes out on my computer!!)
Seriously Guys and Gals. Is there a magic answer?
Nope. But there is an answer. Why not try some new unproven products? Brainstorm for a fresh idea? Think of something that's community directed? Market to a niche you haven’t tried before? Why not go after the office market, kids rooms, seaside themed rooms or home office? What about putting together and advertising pre-planned beautifully designed all-inclusive packages for entire rooms, entire apartments, condos or even houses in a few different price or styles.
What do you say? Come on. Stretch that retail-honed mind you've stretched before. It has brought you this far, successfully. There's got to be a vacuum that's got the goods, today. Go on... grab it. It'll work like all the other shticks that have made you a battling winner till now.
Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90
Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. See the YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at http://bitly.com/qALkrX
About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)
Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.
Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.
Graduated high school at 16.
Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.
Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.
Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.
Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.
Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.
Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.
Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.
Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.
Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.
He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."
Retired from retail management at age 70.
BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.
Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home
Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.
At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.
Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,
IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.
At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers