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So much market, so little time

September 12, 2007

It’s still several days till market and my legs and feet are already starting to complain. So much market to do and so little time. I wonder then if I am peeing in the wind when I tell you there is one space you shouldn’t miss while you are there. Go to booth 8-9074 where you will find CFR. Whether you are a member or not, you’ll want to see what’s going on there.

Tired, hungry, thirsty, stop at the CFR booth. They will have snacks, drinks, and, get this, MASSAGES!! Oh, did I mention . . . FREE!!

Have a question about market or about CFR benefits, stop any CFR board member wearing a big yellow button that says, "ASK ME." They will be able to answer all of your questions, point you in the right direction, or help you decide if you should join CFR or not.

Ever wanted a better way to layout your clients’ outside rooms, stop at the CFR booth and talk to the people from Masterplan Magnetics or pick up literature about Icovia. Masterplan Magnetics has a great magnetic layout solution that will increase your sales staff’s close rate. Icovia has a web based computerized planning program that you can put on your web site or use right in your store. I use both. Each more than paid for themselves the first time we used them with a client.

Want to offer "90 days same as cash" or other delayed payment options to your clients but thought it was too expensive, stop at the CFR booth and get information on the Citifinancial plan. You can offer "90 days same as cash" without paying any discount fee. Other delayed payment plans are available at lower interest rates than you are probably paying your credit card processing company.

Wondering how customers see your store, stop by the CFR booth and talk to the people from DSG. They will tell you about their secret shopper service. For a reasonable fee, you can find out what customer’s think about your physical plant, sales people, check-out procedure, telephone service, and selection. I know I am too close to my business and too biased to trust my opinion of these vital functions of my store.

Hungry, want breakfast, join CFR and the Merchandise Mart for a free breakfast at 7:30 Tuesday morning in the Merchandise Mart Conference Center on the 2nd floor. Not only will you get breakfast, you will also find who CFR members voted to be Manufacturer of the Year in the Furniture and Accessories Division. SCFMA will announce their choice for the Design Excellence awards; so, you will get to see what is going to be hot for 2008 before almost anyone else. Also, CFR will announce which exhibitors have the best displays at market this year. That’s the Merchandising Excellence Award.

Wondering if your advertising works, go to the CFR sponsored roundtable on Wednesday at 3:00 pm in room 7A on the 7th floor. No vendors, no outside sales people, only specialty retailers with the same problems and concerns that you have. There you can frankly discuss a big area of our business. You and other retailers will get a chance to exchange ideas about what works or doesn’t work for them when they advertise. The roundtable is scheduled to last 60 minutes; however, if roundtables from the last few years are any indication, you won’t want to leave after jsut 60 minutes. This might be the most productive event you go to at the market.

After all of that, if you still don’t want to join CFR, I would be surprised.

Yours in confused retailing, Bruce