Still a healthy part of the business, The Hallmark store once almost defined the gift shop concept. Now, nearly every kind of store you can name has some sort of gift mix and much of it is home-oriented. Whether a photo frame or a vase, a candlestick or a tray, these items are purchased as gifts as often as they are for the shopper’s own home.
Don’t you love the beginning of something? Most of us have had less than a stellar 2009, but now we’re poised for what we all hope and expect will be a better 2010.
It’s a wonderful feeling. And no better place to enjoy that feeling than at the Winter markets, especially in the IMAX showrooms where so much is new and exciting.
We all think we are doing well with our own customer service. With so much information available on customer service, why is service still one of the biggest complaints by customers? What is the reality? Do customers expect more than is realistic? Is it simply that good service is taken for granted, but one incident of poor service is blown out of proportion?
Perhaps we are blind to our own mistakes. Are we failing to look at our stores from the customers’ perspective? Are we satisfied with service that is just ‘good enough’ because we have so many other concerns to attend to?
Though still cautious, buyers were optimistic at High Point market in October, taking their cue from signs that the national retail market is starting to pick up.
IMAX enjoyed good crowds and strong sales, even as retailers bought carefully and thoughtfully to enhance their stores and broaden their merchandise mix.
The following items topped the High Point best seller list:
Everyone always talks about the hot zone – the area that sells the most in a gift and accessories store. Between 4′ and 6′ from the floor is eye level for most. Few people have to bend and only a few more have to stretch to comfortably shop within the hot zone. But, what happens above that zone? What if you have really high ceilings or, worse yet, low ones? How do you make your store work with less than ideal ceiling heights?
At Homemakers Furniture Store in Des Moines, accessories are an important part of the product mix. And it is up to buyer Lori Konzen to make sure she has the right combinations to accentuate the furniture and tempt the customer.
She must be doing something right.
Here everyone sits, perched on the edge of fourth quarter and waiting for holiday business.
It’s a bit nerve-wracking, to be sure, but there is good news.
I’ve talked to 15 or 20 retailers in the past month and almost to a person, they’re saying things are getting a little better. They are seeing a little up-tick in business.
Retail is a competitive business. Even if your product is completely unique, you still have competition. There is always another store down the street – or in the next cyber-mall – that is aiming for your customers’ wallet. Customers have a limited amount of disposable income, but their choices of where to spend it are infinite.
While there are many aspects involved in marketing and gaining customer loyalty, one of the most important is your visual presentation.
In many parts of the country, autumn is in the air and there is a briskness to the weather. That means High Point Market is here. With a slight uptick in consumer activity and an increase in the stock market, retailers are looking for well-designed products at a good price.
That’s what IMAX brings to this and every market – new, exciting and sellable.
Take a look at some of the new offerings for High Point.
What a surprise! A new survey shows that online shoppers miss the personal experience of visiting a bricks and mortar store. And several forward-thinking luxury retailers like Chico’s women’s apparel are already working to add that personal touch.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey of 2,274 adults for a California company, IMShopping, a social media shopping firm, to measure how consumers feel about getting human assistance while shopping online.