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Cinde W. Ingram

Relationships can reward in any season

March 1, 2006

Depending on where you’re located, you may have gotten a bone-chilling example of winter’s fickle wrath when a Nor’easter hit the East Coast on the Saturday before Valentine’s — not exactly a love letter for those digging out of the year’s first major snow storm.

As we prepare for the 2006 season, this gave a reminder of how differently the calendar and the climate treat us in various parts of the nation. Some of you remember vividly how cold and wet last March left us. That may have been favorable for those who sell hearth and heating products, but it had to hurt those who carry pool or garden-related items along with outdoor furniture.

As much as we’d like to ignore it, favorable weather really does drive consumer demand for seasonal products and results in significant surges or depressing declines. This year, we’re devoting a full page to weather maps and analysis, thanks to our ongoing partnership with Weather Trends International, a division of Surveillance Data Inc.

I also should mention our ongoing relationship with HPBA, which shared its grill survey in this issue. Establishing and growing through partnerships that benefit both sides is nearly as rare as finding the right spouse and making a marriage work. The odds are against it, yet good relationships are what make life rewarding in business and at home.

The CFR column Texas retailer Karen Galindo and the letter Tennessee retailer Clay Dennis wrote for our February issue took differing views on why such relationships between retailers and vendors are vital.
In this issue, retailer Marc McDonald of Leisure Living in Salt Lake City notes the value of his long-term relationships with vendors and suppliers, such as Weber and Gold Crest Industries. However, both he and Dennis make the point that there are plenty of other vendors out there to choose from if you don’t like what you’re getting.

Here’s to wishing you relationships that prosper both you and your vendors along with sunny skies, warm spring temperatures and shoppers hungry for the leisure lifestyle you help provide. ( to add public comments click on “Add your Comment” below, or to email Cinde directly click here.)