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Experience our Fall/Winter 2010 collection at: The New York Shoe Expo (FFANY)

Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th February 2010 Hilton Hotel, New York / 15th Floor, Suite 1537 D2

MAGIC (FN PLATFORM)

Tuesday 16th – Thursday 18th February 2010 Las Vegas Convention Centre / Booth 61503

COTERIE (Sole Commerce)

Sunday 21st – Tuesday 23rd February 2010 Javits Centre, New York / Call for booth information

sc advert for focus on shoes 151010.indd 1

Contact: Tel: Email: Web:

Angelique Thompson +1 310 406 2109 angelique@coangelique.com www.strutttcouture.com

15/01/2010 12:07


Editor’s Letter

BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR SHOE, APPAREL & ACCESSORIES STORES

”We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” -Buddha Welcome to the February 2010 edition of Focus On Fashion Retail! We’re ringing in the New Year here at FFR with our newly redesigned magazine, and we’re ecstatic about the changes we’re rolling out this month! Our editorial and production staff has been working practically 24/7 over the past few weeks to bring you an entirely new design, new personality, new ideas, and new approaches that will thoroughly prepare you for a new era in fashion footwear retailing. Here at FFR, we’ve worked hard to provide you with an honest, informative, and useful magazine—to assemble all the resources you need into one convenient publication. The journey’s been long and at times tough; but we’ve stuck with it, and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it! Through all the ups and downs, I’ve received a lot of encouraging feedback— letters from grateful retailers telling how much help we’ve given them and thanking us for our service. And that makes it all worth it. There’s a good reason why we chose to speak to you about motivation, inspiration, self-improvement so often. If you were to simply follow the advice of the experts written articles for FFR, you’d do fine. Don’t give up! Follow your dream! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, learn from your mistakes. Better still, learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences—the people who came before you. That’s the smartest way to learn. So, better yourself in personal life and in your work! Enjoy the process and dream big, be happy!

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I can say with total confidence that it’s all true. That’s why Focus On Fashion Retail will continue its mission of inspiring retailers like you, who are in the business of selling fashion shoes, clothing, and accessories, to stay at the top of your game. We’ll provide the information you need—about fashion, retailing, business in general, and motivation—everything you need to succeed in the modern marketplace and hopefully, be happy. Focus On Fashion Retail is still the magazine you’ve always trusted for all your retail sales needs. That hasn’t changed and never will. Yet, we’re excited to have the opportunity to grow bigger and better in 2010, to work harder and smarter so you can continue to enjoy our attractive layout and informative content just as you always have—but with a new dimension.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson With that final thought, I would like to wish you all the best in your lives and a great new season! Please feel free to contact me at editor@focusonshoes.com with questions, comments, suggestions or topics you’d like to see covered in future issues. Serving you better is our goal and privilege. Sincerely,

Alex Geyman Editor

FASHION RETAIL EDITOR: Alex Geyman GENERAL MANAGER: Dmitry Nelipovich ART DIRECTOR: Allison Moryl GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Pay Fan GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Laurie McAdams GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Jim McAdams FASHION EDITOR: Francesca Trippoli SUBSCRIPTION: Sandra DaSilva RESEARCH: Shawn Lancaster SALES: Claudia Perez COVER PHOTO: Michael David Adams www.MichaelDavidAdams.com STYLING: Ray Oliveira, www.RayOliveira.com MAKEUP: Viktorija Bowers @ Kate Ryan Inc HAIR: Eloise Cheung MODEL: Eugenia @ Trump Models

FEAUTURED ARTICLES: The 5 Steps to Successful Retail Selling (part 2 of 5) By Michael Tidmore mike@successfulstore.com

The Experience Reality Gap: Challenging and Improving Your Customer’s Experience By Doug Fleener www.dynamicexperiencesgroup.com

The Difference between Marketing and the Marketing Department By Tom Marnell architect@earthlink.net

Stress Management

By Dale Carnegie & Associates www.dalecarnegie.com

The Six Myths of Luxury Branding —How to Build a ‘New Luxury’ Brand (part 1 of 2) By Pamela N. Danziger www.unitymarketingonline.com

It’s Up To You! Take Control of Your Opportunity for Success on the Sales Floor By Harry J. Friedman www.thefriedmangroup.com

How To Build a Top-Performing Sales Team By Alan Rigg www.8020sales.com

All editorial pages are intellectual property of FFR and/or featured authors. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the express permission of FFR and/or featured authors.

FOCUS ON FASHION RETAIL 25924 Viana Avenue, Suite 19 Lomita, CA 90717 USA Tel. (310) 784-790 fax (310) 202-6027 General E-Mail: info@focusonshoes.com Web: www.focusonshoes.com


7 For All Mankind


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SALES LESSONS

SALES LESSONS

Part 2 of 5

by Michael Tidmore

Lesson 2 A. Give A.B.C.D Service!  I believe that every customer should always receive what I call A.B.C.D service (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty). Key Point: One of the best possible forms of service that you can give to a customer is to show them a large selection of merchandise! In many cases, giving the customer options actually helps to close the sale on other merchandise. To reiterate our example from Lesson 1; we’ve begun the presentation process for our imaginary customer. She’s a professionally dressed, physically fit, woman in her thirties that is on her way to Vegas for a tradeshow. Our imaginary professional salesperson is on 10% commission and understands that his mission consists of 3 major points:

Show More, Sell More! B. Build Credibility While Building a Rapport.   Ok. Get ready, I’m about to unleash some really “old school”, “Shoe Dog” stuff on you… You might laugh about the simplistic nature of what I’m about to say, but trust me, sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. Here goes…

the risk of touching a strangers feet”, you ask??? Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying. You have credibility with a customer if you  do things expected of a   professional. Let’s explore some of the little things that professional retail salespeople do.  Again; let’s start with what not to do…

Most shoe salespeople these days just come out of the stockroom and present the customer with a box of shoes. They simply Put the shoes on your customers’ feet!  hand them to the customer, then stand back, Huh?? “You mean get down there and run watch the customer try them on and wait for a report. What you really should do is, sit on

Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

Key Point: If you do not have fitting stools in your store, at least kneel down next to the customer when you hand the shoe to her. Why? Because this keeps you at eye level with her, not towering above her while she tries it on. This makes you more accessible. Your body language says you are interested and engaged in the process. Not so if you are standing, you will be easily distracted by other things. However, when she does get up and walk to “test drive” the shoe, you should get up and walk along with her. Again, this keeps you at the same eye level with the customer.  Let me give you a couple of other good reasons to actually put the shoe on the customer’s foot. It won’t take you very long at all, if you do this often enough, that you can tell just by the way a shoe slides on the customer’s foot if it is going to fit or not. This is a valuable tool in your arsenal, because you can be formulating “plan b” in your sales pitch before she even takes her first walk in the shoe. Plus, it is a little thing that establishes an “ABCD” level of service that actually sets you apart from most of the other salespeople out there in the world.

1. To give A.B.C.D service. 2. To “upgrade” the customer. 3. To sell multiple items to every customer.

12

a fitting stool, offer to measure the customer’s feet and actually slide the shoe onto the customer’s foot using an old fashioned “shoe spoon”. If it’s a lace up shoe, you should actually lace the shoe up on the customer’s foot for them. I know, I know, you’re ROFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing)   right now, as the kids say these days. I understand that it’s not quite like it was “back in the day” when I grew up in the shoe business. You might actually scare the customer if you try doing all of that. If you can’t sit down and put the shoe on her, you should at least do this much: Open the box; take all of the packing sticks and papers out of the shoes, pre-flex the shoe a little to soften it up before you hand it to the customer. 

 Now, you have gained credibility in the customer’s eye because you do things that are professional and that they most likely have not seen in a very long time. © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

(The one that she picked up off of the display). Pair number 2. The same type of shoe that she picked out, but one that has a higher price tag (the Taryn Rose pump “upgrade”) Pair number 3. The same shoe in a different color (we did not discuss this one earlier) Pair number 4. A shoe from a totally different classification (the flip flops for poolside) or maybe we brought an athletic shoe like an MBT because we noticed she looked athletic.

Let’s discuss:

C. The Old Fashioned “4 on the Floor” Rule  It’s really pretty much this simple; the more you show, the more you sell. If you are lucky enough to be a commission based retail salesperson, no one should have to explain that to you. When I was in that position, I looked at each customer that walked in the door with the attitude of “She’s got my money in her pocket and I want it!” Back in the good ‘ol days, old “Shoe Dogs” always told you that in order to make money selling shoes, you had to bring out at least 4 pairs of shoes. It’s a little more complicated than that. Let’s explore the details. 4 pairs, 3 pairs, 10 pairs, it doesn’t really matter how many you bring out to show the customer, it just depends on the flow of the selling process. Remember our imaginary customer from Lesson 1? She came into our store and we started a conversation with her. We found out that her most pressing need is a new pair of black dress shoes to wear to a tradeshow. In Lesson 1, I described the other shoes the professional salesperson might bring out for this particular customer and gave examples of the styles: Pair number 1. The shoe the customer had in her hand. The Vincent Camuto pumps

The 1st Pair: It’s just common sense to bring her the first one that caught her eye on display. After you learn more about her needs and how the shoe actually fits her type of foot, this one may eventually be ruled out completely, but it’s a place to start. The 2nd Pair: The “upgrade item”. As I’ve mentioned earlier, an important reason to want to get a more expensive shoe on her, is that at 10% commission, our salesperson is going to make considerably more money by selling her the $200 shoe than he is the $80 shoe. But… There is another, not quite so selfish, reason that is even more important than this. Chances are, if he ends up selling her the $200 shoe, the quality of that product will most likely be considerably better than the $80 shoe. That means that in the long run she will be generally be happier with her purchase. This translates to her being happier with the stores’ merchandise, happier with the salesperson that sold it to her, and above all, it gives her a great attitude about returning for future purchases. So really, if you think about it, upgrading the customer to higher quality merchandise is really part of giving better quality customer service, right?  The 3rd Pair: The same shoe in a different color. If the salesperson gets lucky and really nails the pair of black pumps and the customer loves the fit and feel, a relatively easy way to sell her an additional pair of shoes is to try the same one in a different color. Sometimes Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

13


SALES LESSONS

SALES LESSONS

Part 2 of 5

by Michael Tidmore

Lesson 2 A. Give A.B.C.D Service!  I believe that every customer should always receive what I call A.B.C.D service (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty). Key Point: One of the best possible forms of service that you can give to a customer is to show them a large selection of merchandise! In many cases, giving the customer options actually helps to close the sale on other merchandise. To reiterate our example from Lesson 1; we’ve begun the presentation process for our imaginary customer. She’s a professionally dressed, physically fit, woman in her thirties that is on her way to Vegas for a tradeshow. Our imaginary professional salesperson is on 10% commission and understands that his mission consists of 3 major points:

Show More, Sell More! B. Build Credibility While Building a Rapport.   Ok. Get ready, I’m about to unleash some really “old school”, “Shoe Dog” stuff on you… You might laugh about the simplistic nature of what I’m about to say, but trust me, sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. Here goes…

the risk of touching a strangers feet”, you ask??? Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying. You have credibility with a customer if you  do things expected of a   professional. Let’s explore some of the little things that professional retail salespeople do.  Again; let’s start with what not to do…

Most shoe salespeople these days just come out of the stockroom and present the customer with a box of shoes. They simply Put the shoes on your customers’ feet!  hand them to the customer, then stand back, Huh?? “You mean get down there and run watch the customer try them on and wait for a report. What you really should do is, sit on

Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

Key Point: If you do not have fitting stools in your store, at least kneel down next to the customer when you hand the shoe to her. Why? Because this keeps you at eye level with her, not towering above her while she tries it on. This makes you more accessible. Your body language says you are interested and engaged in the process. Not so if you are standing, you will be easily distracted by other things. However, when she does get up and walk to “test drive” the shoe, you should get up and walk along with her. Again, this keeps you at the same eye level with the customer.  Let me give you a couple of other good reasons to actually put the shoe on the customer’s foot. It won’t take you very long at all, if you do this often enough, that you can tell just by the way a shoe slides on the customer’s foot if it is going to fit or not. This is a valuable tool in your arsenal, because you can be formulating “plan b” in your sales pitch before she even takes her first walk in the shoe. Plus, it is a little thing that establishes an “ABCD” level of service that actually sets you apart from most of the other salespeople out there in the world.

1. To give A.B.C.D service. 2. To “upgrade” the customer. 3. To sell multiple items to every customer.

12

a fitting stool, offer to measure the customer’s feet and actually slide the shoe onto the customer’s foot using an old fashioned “shoe spoon”. If it’s a lace up shoe, you should actually lace the shoe up on the customer’s foot for them. I know, I know, you’re ROFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing)   right now, as the kids say these days. I understand that it’s not quite like it was “back in the day” when I grew up in the shoe business. You might actually scare the customer if you try doing all of that. If you can’t sit down and put the shoe on her, you should at least do this much: Open the box; take all of the packing sticks and papers out of the shoes, pre-flex the shoe a little to soften it up before you hand it to the customer. 

 Now, you have gained credibility in the customer’s eye because you do things that are professional and that they most likely have not seen in a very long time. © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

(The one that she picked up off of the display). Pair number 2. The same type of shoe that she picked out, but one that has a higher price tag (the Taryn Rose pump “upgrade”) Pair number 3. The same shoe in a different color (we did not discuss this one earlier) Pair number 4. A shoe from a totally different classification (the flip flops for poolside) or maybe we brought an athletic shoe like an MBT because we noticed she looked athletic.

Let’s discuss:

C. The Old Fashioned “4 on the Floor” Rule  It’s really pretty much this simple; the more you show, the more you sell. If you are lucky enough to be a commission based retail salesperson, no one should have to explain that to you. When I was in that position, I looked at each customer that walked in the door with the attitude of “She’s got my money in her pocket and I want it!” Back in the good ‘ol days, old “Shoe Dogs” always told you that in order to make money selling shoes, you had to bring out at least 4 pairs of shoes. It’s a little more complicated than that. Let’s explore the details. 4 pairs, 3 pairs, 10 pairs, it doesn’t really matter how many you bring out to show the customer, it just depends on the flow of the selling process. Remember our imaginary customer from Lesson 1? She came into our store and we started a conversation with her. We found out that her most pressing need is a new pair of black dress shoes to wear to a tradeshow. In Lesson 1, I described the other shoes the professional salesperson might bring out for this particular customer and gave examples of the styles: Pair number 1. The shoe the customer had in her hand. The Vincent Camuto pumps

The 1st Pair: It’s just common sense to bring her the first one that caught her eye on display. After you learn more about her needs and how the shoe actually fits her type of foot, this one may eventually be ruled out completely, but it’s a place to start. The 2nd Pair: The “upgrade item”. As I’ve mentioned earlier, an important reason to want to get a more expensive shoe on her, is that at 10% commission, our salesperson is going to make considerably more money by selling her the $200 shoe than he is the $80 shoe. But… There is another, not quite so selfish, reason that is even more important than this. Chances are, if he ends up selling her the $200 shoe, the quality of that product will most likely be considerably better than the $80 shoe. That means that in the long run she will be generally be happier with her purchase. This translates to her being happier with the stores’ merchandise, happier with the salesperson that sold it to her, and above all, it gives her a great attitude about returning for future purchases. So really, if you think about it, upgrading the customer to higher quality merchandise is really part of giving better quality customer service, right?  The 3rd Pair: The same shoe in a different color. If the salesperson gets lucky and really nails the pair of black pumps and the customer loves the fit and feel, a relatively easy way to sell her an additional pair of shoes is to try the same one in a different color. Sometimes Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

13


SALES LESSONS

the new shoe is the most comfortable shoe she’s had on in a long time. If that’s the case, she might just feel the need to have a couple of pair of them. The 4th Pair: The shoe from a totally different classification than the original need. This is where it really gets to be fun and satisfying for the salesperson! 90% of all customers that walk into the store are primarily concerned with filling a need (black pumps to wear to work or tennis shoes to wear to the gym etc.). Very few people walk into a store and think, “I’m just going into that store and buy myself a new pair of shoes because I’ve had a bad day and it will cheer me up”.   So, professional salespeople focus on the needed shoe first, but they never forget to suggest the “wanted” shoe. It can actually cheer the customer up and make the entire process more entertaining for them if they purchase an additional shoe as an “attitude adjustment”.  Again, that’s where you come in. They might never try on the ”fun” shoe if  the salesperson  hasn’t suggested it.  You really should consider it a form of extra service that you provide. Let’s take a look at an example of how the conversation between the customer and the salesperson might have gone, so we can show how the merchandise was suggested. Salesperson: Hello! So I guess you are looking for a new pair of shoes to wear to work? Customer: Well yes, as a matter of fact, I’m about to go get on plane to Vegas and I just noticed that my black shoes look terrible. Salesperson: The one you have in your

hand is a nice choice. I’ll go get that one for you to try and I have another one in mind for you that I’ll bring as well. Customer: That sounds good. I’d like to have another choice or two. Behind the scenes: The salesperson goes to the back and brings out 2 pairs of black dress shoes, the one she selected and the upgrade shoe. He also grabs the upgrade shoe in a bronze color. Then, just because he now knows she is headed to Vegas, he grabs a couple of pair of the new flip-flops with a little bling-bling that just came in. He might even grab an athletic shoe as well. He comes out, kneels down next to the customer and slides the first pair of shoes on the customer’s foot and says… Salesperson: That shoe looks very nice on you. It looks like it fits pretty well. It feels pretty good too, doesn’t it? Customer: Well, yes it does. I’m not real wild about the shape of the toe once I see it on though. What else did you bring out for me? Salesperson: I brought another pair of black pumps out that are known for the extra comfort that they provide without compromising on the looks. This style is made out of very soft calfskin and has extra cushioning in the insole. Customer: Oh my gosh, these feel so much better than the first pair! This might be the most comfortable pair of dress shoes I’ve ever tried on… Wow! 

Salesperson: I thought you’d like those; as a matter of fact, I brought them out it your size in a bronze color as well. Metallics are great if you travel a lot because they are very neutral. That way you don’t have to pack so many pairs of shoes. Customer: Good idea! Yeah, those look great in that color! What are those other boxes you brought out there? Salesperson: Glad you asked! I thought that while you’re in Vegas you might squeeze in some pool time, so I brought some of these new flip-flops we just got in to show you. These are pretty cool; they have interchangeable bands so you can coordinate them with more than one outfit. Customer: Those are great, what a good idea! How can I pass those up? Salesperson: My thoughts exactly!

To Summarize: Good salespeople create their own opportunities to sell more merchandise. They ask questions, listen well to the answers and use those answers to suggest appropriate merchandise. In other words, just be truly interested in the customer and learn how to be comfortable when talking to people. You don’t necessarily need to structure the 4 pairs of shoes shown to the customer as in the example above, but the point is suggest other types of shoes than the customer came in looking for originally. Continues in next issue

Michael Tidmore, President Successful Online Stores, LLC In the retail business for more than 30 years. Beginning in high school and all through college I worked in department stores selling Men’s clothing. After college (Texas Tech University-Marketing) I worked as a wholesale sales representative for Miller Shoe Co. Through that position, I was offered an opportunity through one of my clients to manage a group of independent shoe stores (S&J Shoe Company) in South and West Texas. I went on to become a Regional Manager over footwear for Dillard’s department stores for almost 15 years, where under my tenure my area went from 23M in sales to more than 120M. Please feel free to send me an e-mail with any questions or comments at mike@successfulstore.com

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© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

15


CUSTOMER SERVICE

CUSTOMER SERVICE

By Doug Fleener

The Experience Reality Gap: Challenging and Improving Your Customer’s Experience

Challenging Your Reality Gap So how does a retailer of any size challenge their reality gap and become an experience leader? First taking these three steps.

1. Analyze the competition. If a customer is not going to buy from you then where are they going to shop? What is that retailer’s competitive advantage? It is price? Selection? Location? Services? Customer experience? How does your competitor’s staff and level of service differ from yours?

sk almost any independent retailer what his/her store’s strategic competitive advantage is and you will almost always hear the same answer: customer service. I only wish it was true. Their customer experience might be better than their competition but most are not and the retailers don’t even know it. They have fallen victim to the reality gap, the difference between the owner’s perception of their customers experience and the actual experience. That’s not to say that chain stores don’t have a gap of their own but the impact of that gap is often more visible and certainly more detrimental to an independent’s existence than their larger competition. The customer experience reality gap continues to grow for many reasons. First is the independent retailer’s belief that service is getting worse at the chain stores. True, service at many chain stores is less than stellar but I don’t believe it’s gotten any worse over the last several years. Sadly, customers have come to expect less from the chain stores, which makes it easier for them to meet the customer’s lowered expectations. In some 16

Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

chain stores customer service has actually improved. In recent trips to two different Home Depot stores I’ve encountered staff that seems more focused on the customer than in the past. I recently bought a patio table and chairs and while the purchase process was frustrating, the Home Depot staff couldn’t have been more helpful. One young woman went out of her way to assist me, including twice going out to a display in the parking lot. She was a real delight. Another reason for the reality gap is the lack of focus, discipline, and training of the independent retailer’s staff. If customer service is a retailer’s strategic competitive advantage then the staff needs to exceed every customer’s expectations. That’s right, every customer. And not just meet but exceed the customer expectations, expectations that are higher than those customers have of the discount chain stores. In my own shopping experiences I’m finding more and more independents falling considerably short. Recently my wife was shopping for a new lamp shade. The old one was destroyed by those gremlins that sneak into children’s rooms and get up to mischief that gets blamed on the children. Well, off to the light store

went my wife, shadeless lamp in tow. She told the man at the counter what she needed. His exact words were, “Well, we don’t have a lot but they are back there in the corner. See what you can find.” Back there. See what you can find. That is way short of expectations. Compare that to the Home Depot employee who twice walked out to the parking lot. The reality gap strikes again. The owners of independent stores also cause their own reality gap by focusing on the wrong things. They put placing orders or merchandising products ahead of waiting on customers. They measure sales but not customer satisfaction. They spend time on the floor but don’t use that time as an opportunity to observe and coach the staff. They just assume they have better customer service than their larger competition. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Even if they do, it may not be remarkable enough to the customer because the customer expects more in the first place. The reality is that most of our store visits are unremarkable, and because of that, unmemorable. And if it’s not memorable, then it’s not any different from the competitors, so is therefore not a strategic competitive advantage. The result? A reality gap. © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

Try to identify three strengths and three weaknesses for each of your key competitors. Too many retailers ignore their competition but you can’t beat what you don’t know. I strongly recommend that retailers shop their competition at least once every three months. If for some reason you can’t or you’re not comfortable doing it yourself then at least send a member of your staff or a friend to do so.

fits your business, identifying the experience differentiator that’s right for your store/s will help eliminate any reality gap and deliver a customer experience that’s second to none.

3. Evaluate your current customer experience. This step can be as simple or extensive as you’d like. While some might want to invest in doing exit surveys or a focus group, I find an honest self- evaluation of your store’s true customer’s experience often gives you the information you need. How well are you delivering on your experience differentiators? What is physically happening in the store to combat your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses? What is currently taking place in your store that makes your customer say WOW when they leave?

Our experience shows that once you’ve taken the time to evaluate your current experience, you will discover some gap between your desired experience and your current experience. More important, you will probably discover that your store’s experience and your competitor’s experience aren’t too different. Therein lies even a greater challenge. If you don’t create a more memorable experience than the one your competitor is delivering, you will be forced to compete on perceived value. We say “perceived” value since most consumers already have a perception that smaller independent retailers have higher prices than larger chain stores. Overcoming that perception is challenging and costly to the bottom line. The profitable alternative is to deliver unique and memorable customer experiences.

2. Identify your experience differentiators. One of the reasons the reality gap exists is that differences in customer service between stores are barely discernible. It’s easy to differentiate your store by its layout and merchandising but the experience your customer has with the staff is what ultimately makes one store more memorable than another. Isn’t it true that almost every time a friend or family member tells you about a great experience they’ve had at a store it’s because of the connection they made with another person? What can happen in your store to guarantee the experience is more memorable than at other retailers? There are various experience differentiators and the right one for your store depends on the store itself. It could be the way the customer is welcomed and engaged when they enter the store. It could also be the selling process or the check-out process that’s a differentiator. It could also be the way services are delivered or the extras that are offered. Or maybe it’s your technique and process of educating the customer. Whichever method © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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17


CUSTOMER SERVICE

CUSTOMER SERVICE

By Doug Fleener

The Experience Reality Gap: Challenging and Improving Your Customer’s Experience

Challenging Your Reality Gap So how does a retailer of any size challenge their reality gap and become an experience leader? First taking these three steps.

1. Analyze the competition. If a customer is not going to buy from you then where are they going to shop? What is that retailer’s competitive advantage? It is price? Selection? Location? Services? Customer experience? How does your competitor’s staff and level of service differ from yours?

sk almost any independent retailer what his/her store’s strategic competitive advantage is and you will almost always hear the same answer: customer service. I only wish it was true. Their customer experience might be better than their competition but most are not and the retailers don’t even know it. They have fallen victim to the reality gap, the difference between the owner’s perception of their customers experience and the actual experience. That’s not to say that chain stores don’t have a gap of their own but the impact of that gap is often more visible and certainly more detrimental to an independent’s existence than their larger competition. The customer experience reality gap continues to grow for many reasons. First is the independent retailer’s belief that service is getting worse at the chain stores. True, service at many chain stores is less than stellar but I don’t believe it’s gotten any worse over the last several years. Sadly, customers have come to expect less from the chain stores, which makes it easier for them to meet the customer’s lowered expectations. In some 16

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chain stores customer service has actually improved. In recent trips to two different Home Depot stores I’ve encountered staff that seems more focused on the customer than in the past. I recently bought a patio table and chairs and while the purchase process was frustrating, the Home Depot staff couldn’t have been more helpful. One young woman went out of her way to assist me, including twice going out to a display in the parking lot. She was a real delight. Another reason for the reality gap is the lack of focus, discipline, and training of the independent retailer’s staff. If customer service is a retailer’s strategic competitive advantage then the staff needs to exceed every customer’s expectations. That’s right, every customer. And not just meet but exceed the customer expectations, expectations that are higher than those customers have of the discount chain stores. In my own shopping experiences I’m finding more and more independents falling considerably short. Recently my wife was shopping for a new lamp shade. The old one was destroyed by those gremlins that sneak into children’s rooms and get up to mischief that gets blamed on the children. Well, off to the light store

went my wife, shadeless lamp in tow. She told the man at the counter what she needed. His exact words were, “Well, we don’t have a lot but they are back there in the corner. See what you can find.” Back there. See what you can find. That is way short of expectations. Compare that to the Home Depot employee who twice walked out to the parking lot. The reality gap strikes again. The owners of independent stores also cause their own reality gap by focusing on the wrong things. They put placing orders or merchandising products ahead of waiting on customers. They measure sales but not customer satisfaction. They spend time on the floor but don’t use that time as an opportunity to observe and coach the staff. They just assume they have better customer service than their larger competition. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Even if they do, it may not be remarkable enough to the customer because the customer expects more in the first place. The reality is that most of our store visits are unremarkable, and because of that, unmemorable. And if it’s not memorable, then it’s not any different from the competitors, so is therefore not a strategic competitive advantage. The result? A reality gap. © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

Try to identify three strengths and three weaknesses for each of your key competitors. Too many retailers ignore their competition but you can’t beat what you don’t know. I strongly recommend that retailers shop their competition at least once every three months. If for some reason you can’t or you’re not comfortable doing it yourself then at least send a member of your staff or a friend to do so.

fits your business, identifying the experience differentiator that’s right for your store/s will help eliminate any reality gap and deliver a customer experience that’s second to none.

3. Evaluate your current customer experience. This step can be as simple or extensive as you’d like. While some might want to invest in doing exit surveys or a focus group, I find an honest self- evaluation of your store’s true customer’s experience often gives you the information you need. How well are you delivering on your experience differentiators? What is physically happening in the store to combat your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses? What is currently taking place in your store that makes your customer say WOW when they leave?

Our experience shows that once you’ve taken the time to evaluate your current experience, you will discover some gap between your desired experience and your current experience. More important, you will probably discover that your store’s experience and your competitor’s experience aren’t too different. Therein lies even a greater challenge. If you don’t create a more memorable experience than the one your competitor is delivering, you will be forced to compete on perceived value. We say “perceived” value since most consumers already have a perception that smaller independent retailers have higher prices than larger chain stores. Overcoming that perception is challenging and costly to the bottom line. The profitable alternative is to deliver unique and memorable customer experiences.

2. Identify your experience differentiators. One of the reasons the reality gap exists is that differences in customer service between stores are barely discernible. It’s easy to differentiate your store by its layout and merchandising but the experience your customer has with the staff is what ultimately makes one store more memorable than another. Isn’t it true that almost every time a friend or family member tells you about a great experience they’ve had at a store it’s because of the connection they made with another person? What can happen in your store to guarantee the experience is more memorable than at other retailers? There are various experience differentiators and the right one for your store depends on the store itself. It could be the way the customer is welcomed and engaged when they enter the store. It could also be the selling process or the check-out process that’s a differentiator. It could also be the way services are delivered or the extras that are offered. Or maybe it’s your technique and process of educating the customer. Whichever method © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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CUSTOMER SERVICE

By Doug Fleener

Becoming an Experience Leader Here’s what you can do to bridge the reality gap and dominate your competition.

1. Design and execute an experience strategy. Very few retailers have identified their experience differentiators and as a result they can’t deliver consistent and repeatable memorable experiences. High-performing employees will often deliver memorable customer experiences but if every one of your employees can’t exceed the customer’s expectations then you’ve got a reality gap. To deliver experience that sets a retailer apart it is necessary to create a systematic retail approach that employees can execute, managers can train on and expect their staff to accomplish, and owners and executives can measure and improve. How is this approach different from standard retail? To begin with, most retailers don’t really have a retail floor strategy. They confuse sales training with a retail floor strategy. A retail floor strategy is the defined outcome that every customer who comes into your store will experience. It makes sure that your employees consistently engage customers and deliver your experience differentiators. The most successful floor strategies are internally branded and well communicated. It’s easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to execute. Too many retailers are asking their staffs to remember things like the “12 Steps of Customer Excellence” or some equally long and involved set of instructions. Less is more when developing your experience strategy. A well-designed experience strategy is a combination of a customer service approach and the sales process. Employees

know exactly what is expected of them to engage the customer, create sales, and deliver a memorable customer experience that turns that customer into a loyal and raving advocate. It makes sure that employees are proactive with the customer, not reactive. It choreographs the customer experience to ensure that every customer receives a consistent experience, no matter which location the customer visits or which employee they interact with. It also aligns a company’s market position and its values and mission to its retail floor strategy. Designing and executing a retail experience isn’t easy but the results are quite rewarding.

2. Teach, coach, repeat. Change initiatives fail more often than they succeed. They don’t fail because it’s a poor strategy or not a well-thought-out plan, but because not changing is easier than changing. Anytime an organization changes there is discomfort, pain, and resistance. Retailers too often launch new strategies with full fanfare and then move on to the next thing, leaving the previous initiative to die a slow death. To execute a successful experience strategy, a retailer must invest in both financial and human resources required for training and coaching on the new floor strategy. A new experience strategy requires employees to learn and to practice new skills. It takes time and commitment by all levels of the organization to put these new skills into place. The key is to not make this a shortterm change but the new way of retailing in your store. Don’t quit before the vision is realized.

3. Implement the appropriate mechanisms to measure and support the experience. Developing an experience strategy is an

evolution, not a one-time event. The benefit of having a documented and articulated floor process is the ability to change it based on the needs of the business, changing market conditions, and changes in customer behaviors. It’s important to measure the organization’s ability to execute the process as well as the customer’s perception of it. We believe there are two key mechanisms that every experience retailer must have. a. Customer Experience Measurement systems. Whether you’re running one store or one hundred, you need feedback from your customer. Through the use of incentives and technologies, customers will give you feedback on their own experiences that you can measure and benchmark. This can be used either with or in lieu of mystery shop programs. b. On-floor peer and manager assessments. Practice makes perfect so it’s important to practice the right skills. Using peer and manager assessments on the floor makes sure that the staff is receiving coaching and feedback and that they are developing appropriately. This is not only critical at time of launch but it’s a good idea to review skills on a monthly or quarterly basis. In this day and age it’s virtually impossible to have product exclusivity or the lowest price. Your merchandising, your store design and all other physical elements of your store can easily be duplicated by your competitors. What can’t be duplicated, and what can’t be beat, are the memorable customer experiences that you can create on a daily basis. You can guarantee there is no reality gap in your business when you create and deliver the best possible experience, one customer at a time. Remember, it’s not what you sell that’s important. What matters are the people to whom you sell your products and how those people feel about your products. After all, when all is said and done, it is all about the customer.

Doug Fleener is a veteran retailer with over 25 years of hands-on retail experience with world-class retailers including Bose Corporation as well has owned his own retail store. Fleener is now president of Dynamic Experiences Group, a Lexington, MA-based retail consulting firm that works with retailers to improve their customer experience and profitability. He is also a speaker and author of the book, The Profitable Retailer: 56 Surprisingly Simple and Effective Lessons to Boost Your Sales and Profits. Learn more at www.dynamicexperiencesgroup.com

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© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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MARKETING

The Difference between Marketing and the Marketing Department by Tom Marnell Marketing and the Marketing Department are two different things. Marketing might best be defined as all organized efforts, activities and expenditures designed to, first, acquire a customer and, second, maintain a customer. (It should be added — at a profit.) The Marketing Department is a unit of organization, traditionally charged with carrying out specific tasks that are deemed to be “marketing” (such as advertising, market research).

his distinction is not merely semantic. As the definition would suggest, customer-acquisition and customer-maintenance efforts go beyond the organizational boundaries of the Marketing Department. When all departments know and understand their role and importance in the marketing process, the functions of marketing work better. The Marketing Department works better. Usually, the role of marketing is viewed from the inside of an enterprise looking out to the marketplace. Organizational units (departments) are set up to address the various marketing functions. (Keep in mind that the perspective of how you “sell” is often quite different than how your customers “buy”.) In most instances, the marketing function should provide the perspective of the marketplace looking in as well. Critical marketing functions include: 1. Identifying the important constituencies within the marketplace. Yes, there are customers and prospects, but there are also groups that set rules and regulations, influence or recommend, establish barriers, service the product after the sale, review the product. All of these groups (and probably more) are constituencies that play a role in the successful marketing of a product or service. 2. Identifying and valuing specific target purchaser/user groups for the product. (Also known as target audiences or market segments.). Marketing should answer the questions focusing on who will be a likely prospect, who will be the best customer. Keep in mind that within the target audience there may be groups that will be readily obvious as “end users” but there may also be groups that specify, recommend, purchase, service or 20

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pay for; without a great stretch of the imagination, they may all be considered customers or prospects. 3. Communicating with the marketplace. This function may involve traditional communications disciplines (public relations, advertising, sales promotion, face to face selling) along with new disciplines (the Internet). Each target audience segment within the marketplace may play a different role in the success of marketing so different techniques or disciplines may be required to communicate effectively. Objectives need to be set for each discipline used and for each audience group or segment that is targeted. 4. Conducting transactions with the marketplace. Most people think of marketing activities as advertising or promotional events — very visible, very costly. But other interactions are part of the marketing process and should be viewed as such. (Here is where the outside-in perspective of marketing plays a vital role.)

Order processing is not just an inventory transaction, but a marketing one as well — the timely delivery of a product in good condition goes a long way in helping establish a positive attitude about the company, provides another reason for the enduser to purchase again, and to recommend the company and its products to others. Payment processing is not just a financial transaction; it is an important element in the marketing process — payment is what is given in exchange for the item that will satisfy a need (or an itch). © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

Shipping the product is not just the act of putting something in a box and handing it over to UPS; it is a marketing transaction as well — satisfaction with the product or the company is never higher than when the box or envelop is just about to be opened.

5. Obtaining on-going feedback from the marketplace. An important function of marketing is to measure the performance of the enterprise in its efforts to acquire and maintain customers. What does it cost to acquire a customer? What does it cost to obtain the second order or purchase? Establishing performance metrics is often an afterthought in the planning process and, in many instances, superficial.

Market share is but one measure of marketing performance. Share of Customer is equally, if not, more important: if a customer purchases 100 units/year from enterprise ‘A’ but purchases 500 units /year in total, enterprise ‘A’ has a Share of Customer of 20%. How much effort should be expended to

increase Share of Customer? Or, how much should be spent to maintain the customer at that level?

Obtaining feedback also means understanding the environmental conditions that the enterprise operates in, the product is marketed in. Spending on research is essential to direct the development of a product or service and the development of communications messages necessary to acquaint potential customers with the product or service, instill in them positive feelings about the product or service and motivate them to purchase.

Marketing Departments need to be open minded. Marketing Departments often fall into the trap of thinking they already know all the answers — and all of the questions. In fact, many Marketing Departments are just as isolated from the marketplace as the thirdshift maintenance group. Constant dialogue with all of the component elements of the marketplace is one way to avoid missing opportunities or missing problems before disaster strikes.

Tom Marnell is a marketing consultant and educator. For the past twenty years, Tom has been helping national and regional companies develop go-to-market strategies, primarily involving marketing databases. Prior to starting his own consultancy, Tom held senior management positions at Bozell and Leo Burnett. Tom teaches graduate level courses in customer relationship marketing and marketing databases at Stuart School of Business/Illinois Institute of Technology and Roosevelt University, Chicago. Tom can be reached at architect@earthlink.net.

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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MARKETING

The Difference between Marketing and the Marketing Department by Tom Marnell Marketing and the Marketing Department are two different things. Marketing might best be defined as all organized efforts, activities and expenditures designed to, first, acquire a customer and, second, maintain a customer. (It should be added — at a profit.) The Marketing Department is a unit of organization, traditionally charged with carrying out specific tasks that are deemed to be “marketing” (such as advertising, market research).

his distinction is not merely semantic. As the definition would suggest, customer-acquisition and customer-maintenance efforts go beyond the organizational boundaries of the Marketing Department. When all departments know and understand their role and importance in the marketing process, the functions of marketing work better. The Marketing Department works better. Usually, the role of marketing is viewed from the inside of an enterprise looking out to the marketplace. Organizational units (departments) are set up to address the various marketing functions. (Keep in mind that the perspective of how you “sell” is often quite different than how your customers “buy”.) In most instances, the marketing function should provide the perspective of the marketplace looking in as well. Critical marketing functions include: 1. Identifying the important constituencies within the marketplace. Yes, there are customers and prospects, but there are also groups that set rules and regulations, influence or recommend, establish barriers, service the product after the sale, review the product. All of these groups (and probably more) are constituencies that play a role in the successful marketing of a product or service. 2. Identifying and valuing specific target purchaser/user groups for the product. (Also known as target audiences or market segments.). Marketing should answer the questions focusing on who will be a likely prospect, who will be the best customer. Keep in mind that within the target audience there may be groups that will be readily obvious as “end users” but there may also be groups that specify, recommend, purchase, service or 20

Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

pay for; without a great stretch of the imagination, they may all be considered customers or prospects. 3. Communicating with the marketplace. This function may involve traditional communications disciplines (public relations, advertising, sales promotion, face to face selling) along with new disciplines (the Internet). Each target audience segment within the marketplace may play a different role in the success of marketing so different techniques or disciplines may be required to communicate effectively. Objectives need to be set for each discipline used and for each audience group or segment that is targeted. 4. Conducting transactions with the marketplace. Most people think of marketing activities as advertising or promotional events — very visible, very costly. But other interactions are part of the marketing process and should be viewed as such. (Here is where the outside-in perspective of marketing plays a vital role.)

Order processing is not just an inventory transaction, but a marketing one as well — the timely delivery of a product in good condition goes a long way in helping establish a positive attitude about the company, provides another reason for the enduser to purchase again, and to recommend the company and its products to others. Payment processing is not just a financial transaction; it is an important element in the marketing process — payment is what is given in exchange for the item that will satisfy a need (or an itch). © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

Shipping the product is not just the act of putting something in a box and handing it over to UPS; it is a marketing transaction as well — satisfaction with the product or the company is never higher than when the box or envelop is just about to be opened.

5. Obtaining on-going feedback from the marketplace. An important function of marketing is to measure the performance of the enterprise in its efforts to acquire and maintain customers. What does it cost to acquire a customer? What does it cost to obtain the second order or purchase? Establishing performance metrics is often an afterthought in the planning process and, in many instances, superficial.

Market share is but one measure of marketing performance. Share of Customer is equally, if not, more important: if a customer purchases 100 units/year from enterprise ‘A’ but purchases 500 units /year in total, enterprise ‘A’ has a Share of Customer of 20%. How much effort should be expended to

increase Share of Customer? Or, how much should be spent to maintain the customer at that level?

Obtaining feedback also means understanding the environmental conditions that the enterprise operates in, the product is marketed in. Spending on research is essential to direct the development of a product or service and the development of communications messages necessary to acquaint potential customers with the product or service, instill in them positive feelings about the product or service and motivate them to purchase.

Marketing Departments need to be open minded. Marketing Departments often fall into the trap of thinking they already know all the answers — and all of the questions. In fact, many Marketing Departments are just as isolated from the marketplace as the thirdshift maintenance group. Constant dialogue with all of the component elements of the marketplace is one way to avoid missing opportunities or missing problems before disaster strikes.

Tom Marnell is a marketing consultant and educator. For the past twenty years, Tom has been helping national and regional companies develop go-to-market strategies, primarily involving marketing databases. Prior to starting his own consultancy, Tom held senior management positions at Bozell and Leo Burnett. Tom teaches graduate level courses in customer relationship marketing and marketing databases at Stuart School of Business/Illinois Institute of Technology and Roosevelt University, Chicago. Tom can be reached at architect@earthlink.net.

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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EVENT

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FOOTWEAR •

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39 05536931

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Show dates and locations were accurate at the time of printing and subject to change without notice. Please contact venues directly for the latest information. FFR’ ratings are based on reports from our correspondents, contributors, vendors and retailers who attended these events. Ratings reflect people’s opinion of show organization, traffic, convenience and value for attending/participating businesses.

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PRODUCTIVITY

Stress Management by Dale Carnegie & Associates Time Management to Reduce Stress One critical habit to address in reducing workplace stress involves your productive and non-productive use of time. How do these positive work habits compare to your own? ■ Show Up Early There is no downside to showing up early. When you come in early, you have extra time to gather your thoughts and get prepared, and you are sure to make a better impression in every situation. All the way around, this work habit reduces stress. ■ Maintain a Daily Planner Whether you use software or plain paper, you need a daily planner to make sure that you are on top of all the daily details of your workdays. When you spend time planning, you reduce time spent executing tasks. Thorough daily planning is a key tool. ■ Be Present How many times do you sit in meetings and allow your mind to wander from the subject under discussion? You are often physically present, but mentally in a totally different place. When you daydream during meetings, you end up uninformed about the meeting’s topic and stressed. To avoid this tendency, sit up straight during meetings, take notes on the topic, and try to keep in eye contact with the speaker. ■ Avoid Procrastination Everyone is motivated in different ways. Find what inspires and energizes you to tackle work issues, instead of putting them off. Commit to a regular schedule of work output and project completion. ■ Set Priorities No one likes to leave work at the end of the day or week feeling like they didn’t accomplish the most critical tasks. When you set and adhere to priorities, you avoid stress and keep on pace with the demands of your workload. ■ Protect Your Private Time Some anxiety-provoking work habits, such as bringing work home or staying at work late, are more exhausting than we may realize. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but if it becomes a habit, you can start to feel like you don’t have a life outside of work. 24

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Try to manage your time at work more efficiently so you can enjoy your time outside of the office. Organization to Reduce Stress The second best way to reduce work stress is to stay organized in managing your workload. Which of these productive work habits do you utilize in organizing your work? ■ Simplify Your Approach What could you start doing, stop doing, or do differently to simplify your work approach? You may be inadvertently making your work more complicated than it needs to be. ■ Drop Unnecessary Activities Make a list of each activity in your workday and week, from driving the car to sitting in meetings. Which activities are not necessary? Can you drop any of them? Try dropping those activities for a week or a month, and track any changes in your results at work. You may be surprised by how much more efficient you can be. ■ Write Things Down Do you have one notebook or planner where you write down ideas as they strike you, commitments as you make them, or other important notes? You will feel less stressed when you know that you have captured important information and can reference it when you need it later. ■ Create and Follow Agendas One common area of workplace disorganization is in conducting one-on-one or group meetings. Agendas, especially when sent ahead of time, make meetings more organized and productive and help make participants more comfortable and confident about the meeting. ■ Finish One Task Before Starting Another A major source of disorganization at work comes from excessive multi-tasking. If you stay focused on a particular task and see it through to its completion, you will get it done quicker and you will stay far more organized than if you attempt to multitask your way through a bunch of chores. Attitude Control to Reduce Stress Your third opportunity for new work

habits concerns your attitude control. When you get your work attitudes under control, every other aspect of your work improves. Try to implement these attitude-control concepts to streamline your work habits. ■ Connect with Coworkers and Use Their Names It’s easy to become so self-focused in a workday that you start to tune out your coworkers. This can add to a feeling of isolation and stress at work. It is better from a stress standpoint to reach out and greet others, learn their names, and maybe even win friends in the process. ■ Let Things Go There comes a time when you recognize that the best solution is to relax and accept that you can’t have everything turn out perfectly every time. If you feel like you are experiencing too much stress in a situation, ask yourself, “Is this a situation where I should just let go?” or “Does this need to be perfect?” The answer may surprise you. ■ Take Charge Your attitudes improve when you take charge of situations and accomplish a goal. At the very least, you can take charge of your own workload, relationships, and attitude. When you hesitate or procrastinate, you undermine your energy and make your work more stressful than it has to be. ■ Stay Calm Whatever it takes - counting to 10, taking deep breaths, going for a walk, or doing a quick meditation, concentrate on staying calm. Avoid overreacting, lashing out, or acting impulsively, which only adds to your stress level. ■ Appreciate the Uniqueness in Others As much as you sometimes feel that way, you really would not like it if everyone was just like you at the workplace. It would be boring. Differences in backgrounds, perspectives, and work styles make the workplace more interesting and vibrant, not less. Work on appreciating the unique strengths of others and the richness they bring to your life. The article is reprinted with permission from Global Services Team from Dale Carnegie & Associates www.dalecarnegie.com © FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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Many people both in and out of business believe that advertising makes people desire luxury, so the key investment in luxury brand building is budgeted to advertising. The simple fact is the great bulk of advertising we are exposed to day-in-day-out doesn’t work to drive sales. It may well build brand awareness, but the traditional medium of advertising does not work in this multi-media, informationintensive society. Luxury marketers need to do something vastly different to get their luxury branding messages to consumers and hopefully drive consumers to action. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker (1838-1922)

Luxury Marketing Catch-22: How Do You Build a Luxury Brand if Advertising Doesn’t Work Anymore? Just because most advertising doesn’t generate sales doesn’t mean that luxury companies should necessarily stop advertising. Rather they need to create ads that resonate and are relevant to the passions, desires and fantasies of the consumer. The brand’s ads must tell a story that will be so involving that the consumer becomes part of the brand story. But the brand story needs to be revised, refined, reinvented as the values of the consumer change (as they inevitably will). Brands must be expansive so that they can become part of many people’s lives and they can change with the times. The key word is RELEVANCE…delivering meaning to the consumers’ life today and having an expansive vision in order to continue to

deliver meaning to the consumer in the future as their life changes. The lesson here is to look at brands that have longevity and have sustained themselves over time, like Burberry which was founded in 1856, as well as many other luxury brands that have a history spanning decades even centuries, and you find brands that continue to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. The key word is RELEVANCE…delivering meaning to the consumers’ life today and having an expansive vision in order to continue to deliver meaning to the consumer in the future as their life changes. Look at failed or failing brands, like Polaroid, Schwinn bicycles, Miller High Life beer, Singer sewing machines (have you noticed that interest in home sewing is going through the roof, but the Singer brand isn’t around anymore to take advantage of it), and you find companies who failed to keep their brand relevant. They didn’t have an expansive vision of what their brands could deliver.

Since in the luxury marketing world, branding is both the ‘medium’ and the ‘message’ in the promotion side of marketing, we need to deconstruct the six myths of luxury branding in order to build lasting luxury brands for the ‘new luxury’ market.

LUXURY MARKETING MYTH #1 Advertising is key to promoting and selling Luxuries REALITY: The luxury marketing tripleplay generates sales: the product brand, dealer’s brand, price/value interact to make sales. In luxury marketing there is a subtle interplay between three factors that most strongly influence the luxury consumer to buy: the price/value relationship (with an index value of 125, which means this factor is 25 percent more important than the average); brand/ company reputation (also index value of 125); and store/dealer reputation or, in case of experiential luxuries, the service providers’ reputation (index value of 124). These three factors interact synergistically to encourage the consumer to buy. In luxury marketing there is a subtle interplay between three factors that most strongly influence the luxury consumer to buy: product brand, dealer or store’s brand or service providers’ reputation, and price/value relationship.

Tiffany Co. Jean Schlumberger Gemstone Rings

On the other hand, luxury consumers ranked advertisements, including television, magazines, newspaper dead last among the factors that influenced their last luxury purchase.


Influencers Index

Total

Price/Value Relationship 125 Brand/Company Reputation 125 Store/Dealer Reputation or Where Purchased 124 Recommendations of Friends 93 Articles & Reviews 90 Internet/Website 85 Salesperson’s Info 83 Advertisements 75 These three factors of primary importance in influencing luxury purchase — Price/Value Relationship; Brand/Company Reputation; Store/Dealer Reputation — are what I call the luxury marketing ‘triple play’ which work synergistically together to encourage the consumer to buy.

Luxury Marketing Myth #2 Luxury consumers buy because of the brand Reality: Brands justify purchase; they are not the reason why people buy We all know that some consumers buy luxury brands solely because they ARE luxury brands. Be it status, ‘badge’ value, or just the desire to show one is part of a special in-crowd, some people buy Burberry just for the check or Chanel for the CC. But that definitely is not the case with the typical luxury consumer. Only in a handful of luxury categories − automobiles, cosmetics and beauty products, watches and electronics and photography equipment − do a majority of affluent consumers rate the brand as very important in their purchase decision. By asking luxury consumers how important the luxury brand was in their last purchase, we learn that in most categories of luxury the brand plays a supporting (i.e. rated by most as somewhat important or unimportant) rather than a starring role (i.e. rated by most as very important). In other words, while product brand is more important than media advertising in influencing the last luxury purchase, product brands, except in a few categories such as automobiles, watches, fragrance and beauty, and electronics/photography equipment, are rated by fewer than half of the luxury consumers as very important in their most recent purchase decision.

Despite the widely held belief that brands are the big draw in the luxury market, our research showed that while brands send quality messages or convey special qualities that the consumer desires, luxury consumers don’t have a definitive list of luxury brand names in their head, like they do with definitive price lists. They are much more fluid in their brand reference points and have no die-hard conviction that one brand necessarily is better than, more luxurious than or somehow superior to another. Luxury consumers are much more fluid in their brand reference points and have no diehard conviction that one brand necessarily is better than, more luxurious than or somehow superior to another. The simple fact is luxury brands are not all that focal in why luxury consumers buy. In other words, you rarely find a luxury consumer saying “I am going to buy this bag because it is by Louis Vuitton.” Rather, you are much more likely to hear, “I am going to buy this bag because I really love it, and it is by Louis Vuitton so it costs more, but it is worth it.” So if the luxury brand isn’t the primal cause why luxury consumers buy, what role does the luxury brand play in the purchase decision? It is a justifier that gives the consumer ‘permission’ to buy. Luxury consumers buy luxuries because they want to and this desire is emotionally driven and right-brain controlled. The shopper falls in love with a Chanel handbag and is at the cash register paying for it before her rational mind kicks in to remind her that she surely doesn’t need another handbag! That is where justifiers come into play. Justifiers are left-brain reasons that give consumers permission to buy luxuries. The more extravagant the purchase or the more cautious and careful the shopper, the more justifiers (e.g. a well recognized luxury brand that is at the top of fashion, of the highest quality and that will be a classic for years to come) are needed to stack the buying equation in favor of the purchase.

Breguet Type XXI Timepiece

The luxury brand, therefore, justifies the purchase. It confirms that the product is of outstanding quality… will last a long time… will be in style for years to come… is worth the price tag… will be admired and noticed by people in one’s social circle that matter. Because the brand plays a critical supporting role in getting people to buy, companies must continue to invest in building stronger branding relationships with consumers.

Versace DV One COSC Watch


Damiani Gomitolo 85th Anniversary Luxury Marketing Myth #3 Exclusivity is critical to maintaining the allure of luxury brands. Reality: Individuality and uniqueness are luxurious; Exclusivity — it’s better because only I can have it and you can’t — is definitely not the appeal. Today’s American luxury consumers bring a decidedly democratic ideal to their participation in the luxury market. They believe that everyone is entitled to luxury. Over three-fourths of luxury consumers agree with the statement, “Luxury is for everyone and different for everyone.” The democratic ideal of luxury challenges the more traditional concept of exclusivity in luxury that

is derived from European aristocratic ideals of luxury. From this European aristocratic perspective, luxury is made even more luxurious because it is unavailable to everybody else. This reflects ‘old luxury’ thinking that is defined from an external perspective. Exclusivity, in and of itself, brings very little luxury value to today’s democraticallyminded luxury consumer. That said, the luxury consumer also yearns for more specialness in their experience of luxuries. Exclusivity, in and of itself, brings very little luxury value to today’s democraticallyminded luxury consumer. That said, the luxury consumer also yearns for more specialness in their experience of luxuries. While Americans are uniquely classless in their philosophical

outlook, they are still driven by an underlying desire for personal expression and individuality. Exclusivity for the sake of exclusivity, as expressed by the European luxury ideal, is not what American luxury consumers value, rather it’s an exclusivity derived from one’s ability to express a personal point of view, an attitude and one’s uniqueness. So the challenge for luxury marketers in the American luxury market is to deliver greater exclusivity by making the luxury consumer feel special and unique, but never let it morph into class snobbishness or arrogance. This delicate balance is very hard to pull off successfully. Those marketers that do will achieve great rewards. (Continues in next issue)

Pamela N. Danziger is a nationally recognized expert in undertanding the mind of the consumer. She founded Unity Marketing in 1992 as a marketing consulting firm for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences. A highly sought after keynote speaker, Danziger has addressed large conference audiences, including Global Luxury Forum, Global Shop, National Retail Federation, etc. She has appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox News and CNN and is frequently called upon by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Businessweek, Forbes, USA Today, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Women’s Wear Daily and other business and consumer publications for commentary and analysis. She holds a B.A. Degree in English Literature and a Master of Library Science degree. In recognition of her ground- breaking work in the luxury consumer market, Pam received the Global Luxury Award presented by Harper’s Bazaar for top luxury industry achievers in 2007. She is also the author of three books on consumer psychology and behavior. For more information, go to www.unitymarketingonline.com or email her at pam@unitymarketingonline.com


How to Build a Top-Performing

Sales Team

by Alan Rigg

There is nothing more frustrating than paying for people who don’t perform. And, there is no function in a company where poor performance has a bigger impact that it does in Sales! Are you struggling with questions like these? • Why do just a small percentage of our salespeople produce most of our company’s sales?

• What makes top sales performers different from middle and bottom performers?

• How can I stop being fooled during interviews?

• What can I do to help struggling salespeople make the largest possible improvement in their performance?

Does “the 80/20 rule” describe your sales team’s performance? If “the 80/20 rule” (where 20% of salespeople produce 80% of sales) accurately describes sales performance in your company (even though the actual ratio may be 70/30, 60/40, 90/10, or even 95/5), don’t feel bad. You have a lot of company! Plus, research has shown there are valid reasons for these sales performance differences.

Research Finding #1 In their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton report that great managers and average managers have different expectations for their employees. According to Buckingham and Clifton: AVERAGE managers assume that

“each person can learn to be competent in almost anything”.

GREAT managers assume that

“each person’s talents are ENDURING and UNIQUE”.

If anyone can learn to be competent in anything, then anyone should be able to learn how to sell, right? That seems to be the position taken by most sales books, CDs, and training programs. The unspoken promise is that if someone invests the time, effort, and money required to learn the skills they teach, they will (eventually) succeed in sales.

Unfortunately, there are countless examples of salespeople who fail. Think about the salespeople you know personally. How many of them are struggling to make their quotas? Why are they struggling? •

• • • •

Is it the state of the economy? (If other salespeople are

making their numbers, blaming the economy won’t earn much sympathy.)

Is it because they don’t work hard enough?

Is it because they don’t have enough product knowledge? Do they need to work harder on their selling skills? Do they need more coaching from their manager?

What if the “great manager” point of view is correct? What if everyone cannot become proficient in sales? What if success in sales requires a unique set of talents?


Research Finding #2 Herb Greenberg, Harold Weinstein and Patrick Sweeney report this very conclusion in their book, How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer. After comparing the results of hundreds of thousands of assessments with actual sales performance measurements, they reached these startling conclusions: “55% of the people earning their living in sales should be doing something else” and

“Another 20% to 25% have what it takes to sell, but they should be selling something else”

Wow! These are some sobering statistics! They say straight out, in plain English, that more than half of all salespeople are never going to make it in sales. Another quarter have some chance of accomplishing sales success, but only if they find the RIGHT job selling the RIGHT kind of product or service.

Why aren’t these poor sales performers “weeded out” during the recruiting process? A key reason why companies suffer from 80/20 sales performance is their hiring decisions are based entirely on SUBJECTIVE information. Consider the following: •

What are resumes? They are a job applicant’s subjective

description of his or her capabilities and experience, written for the sole purpose of convincing the reader to invite the

What happens during an interview? Interviewees attempt

applicant to an interview.

to answer questions in a manner that makes the best impression. Meanwhile, interviewers form personal opinions about interviewees’ qualifications.

According to Lou Adler, author of Hire With Your Head: “More errors are made during the first 30 minutes of an interview than at any other time. Emotions, biases, perceptions, stereotypes, and first impressions are powerful human forces that profoundly affect individual judgment.”

I’m NOT suggesting that subjective information is useless.

Subjective information is a valid and valuable component of any “people decision”. With that said, if decisions based solely on subjective information produce an undesirable result 80 percent of the time (remember the 80/20 rule?), doesn’t it make sense to consider adding quality objective information to the mix?

How can you OBJECTIVELY determine which salespeople have the talents required to succeed in YOUR company’s sales position(s)? One change that makes a big difference in sales recruiting success is specialized sales assessment tests that capture specific, OBJECTIVE information about salespeople and sales job candidates. I’m NOT referring to personality or behavioral tests like MyersBriggs or DISC. These types of “communication style” assessments are useful for personal development. However, they are NOT effective for predicting whether or not an individual will succeed in sales.

To accurately predict whether an individual will succeed in sales, an assessment test needs to extract information in the following THREE CRITICAL CATEGORIES: 1. Cognitive (brain function): • How rapidly does the individual learn new information?

This talent is of particular importance if your company

your salespeople to sell the entire portfolio.

has a broad portfolio of products and services and you want How precisely and effectively does the individual

communicate, both verbally and in writing? If your

salespeople author a lot of proposals and/or e-mails, the quality of their writing will definitely impact their sales performance!

How strong is the individual’s talent for asking

insightful questions, picking out important pieces of information from the answers, and using this

information to construct additional questions? This

talent is critical for effective sales opportunity qualification. How strong is the individual’s talent for learning how to manage effective return on investment (ROI)

conversations with prospects and customers? This talent is critical for increasing close rates by creating a context for price discussions.


2. Behavioral: • • • • • • • • • • •

How energetic is the individual? How easy will it be for them to consistently maintain the level of productive activity required to achieve their sales targets? How effective is the individual at convincing prospects and customers to “get off the dime” and take action? How sociable is the individual? Do they enjoy interacting with others? Do they build rapport with strangers quickly? Can the individual successfully direct his or her own activities, or does the individual require frequent input and direction from a sales manager to stay on track? How will the individual respond when things don’t go their way? Will they start to whine and complain, or will they be able to “shake it off” and maintain a high level of productivity? How strong is the individual’s desire to be liked? Will they be able to maintain a “win-win” focus, or will they give away the store? How competitive is the individual? How confident are they in their ability to compete successfully? How emotionally tough is the individual? How do they respond to rejection? How dogged and determined is the individual in pursuing opportunities and overcoming roadblocks that arise during the sales process? Will the individual follow through on their commitments? How success oriented and outcome focused is the individual? Are they able to stay focused on the desired end result, or do they let themselves get bogged down in details and other distractions?

3. Interests: In order for sales assessment tests to accurately predict future performance, the individual’s interests must be taken into account. Does this scenario sound familiar? You hire a salesperson that

looks and sounds like a world-beater. They seem to have all of the talent in the world. When they come on board they hit the ground running and generate impressive results during their first few months on the job. However, over time their performance starts to decline and no one can figure out why. A common reason behind this type of performance decline is the salesperson doesn’t ENJOY the activities involved in selling! An individual can have every talent required to achieve top sales performance. However, if they don’t “get their jollies” from the activities involved in selling, it is unlikely they will perform very well for very long.

When you have ALL of this information, you can predict these critical sales characteristics • • • • • • •

Is the individual a Hunter, a Farmer, or a Hybrid? Do they prefer to pursue new business, do they prefer to manage existing customer relationships, or are they capable of performing both functions effectively? Is the individual a Consultative salesperson, a Relationship salesperson, or something else? Selling style can make a huge impact on sales performance! Is the individual Internally or Externally motivated? Internally motivated salespeople are capable of directing their own activities effectively. Externally motivated salespeople require frequent direction and support from their manager to stay productive. How effectively will they Prospect? How aggressively (and consistently) will they pursue new opportunities? How effectively will they Close Sales? How willing are they to ask for orders? How willing are they to comply with Process, Procedure, and Administrative requirements? This includes updating records in your company’s client relationship management (CRM) system and providing timely and accurate forecasts and sales opportunity pipeline updates. Will they be a good Team Member? Will they work cooperatively with their fellow sales team members, expert and support resources, and other departments?

Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Team Performance: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building and Managing Top-Performing Sales Teams, and the companion book, How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Top Sales Performance. His 80/20 Selling System™ helps business owners, executives, and managers end the frustration of 80/20 sales team performance, where 20% of salespeople produce 80% of sales. For more information and more FREE sales and sales management tips, visit http://www.8020sales.com.


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SEARCHING FOR A SENIOR FOOTWEAR DESIGNER! Experience: 8 – 10 years’ experience in design product and fabrication knowledge. Core Competencies: Basic working knowledge of the technical aspects of the assigned category, ability to design around concepts and to design flat sketches, technical and computer skills, design and color sense, presentation, persuasion, organization, time management, written and verbal communication. Please send your resume to ajdonnel@jcpenney.com

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TALENT SPECIALISTS” “We won’t send another pretty face… when what you need is the perfect fit.” We work with factories, wholesale & retail footwear clients worldwide. Recent placements, DIRECTOR of SALES, DESIGNER, VP SOURCING, COO, CFO

Experience has proven the best fit with our client is someone who has. 1. An entrepreneurial mindset 2. Thrive in a small less corporate environment 3. Come from manufacturing or wholesale fashion related product. 4. Have operations experience in addition to CFO expertise. SEND RESUME to: SUSAN PROFFITT, SUSAN@JOBWISH.NET 904-215-3561 “We won’t send another pretty face… when what you need is the perfect fit.”

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© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

© FFR- Focus On Fashion Retail

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It’s Up To YOU! Take Control of Your Opportunity for Success on the Sales Floor. by harry j. friedman

There are some very successful salespeople out there, RETAIL salespeople. These people make a lot of money and enjoy their lives very much. I have to let you know that these salespeople all have one very important thing in common - they believe they are responsible for their own success. If you read my articles on retail salesmanship, and have benefited from all of the ex­perience I’ve amassed over the years, you know I’ve been doing my part to help you become more successful. Have you been doing your part? Sure, you’ve been show­ing up at work on time, and you’ve been making sure that every customer gets ap­proached, and you’ve studied to make sure you’re an expert on product knowledge. There’s a variety of different ways for you to “do your part”. It’s what you may not have done that still concerns me. As I meet with different retailers across North America, I am constantly holding them responsible for the success or failure of their sales staffs. When they voice complaints about certain salespeople, I ask, “What have you done to help them get better?” The response all too often is, “Not enough”. The owners realize when they are at fault, and they also accept the responsibility to “do better” with regard to training, coaching, and developing the salesperson on the floor.


But, the fault must be shared. If you’re not the most successful person on the floor in your store, I must ask you, “Why not?” After all, you really are ultimately responsible for your own success. Joe Girard, a very well known salesman who appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for record-breaking sales, once said that he didn’t care who he worked for, he would still succeed. He took responsibility for himself and didn’t rely on the company to provide any help to him. He did everything possible to guarantee his own success. Why should you be any different than Joe Girard? Certainly you have to have enough skill and knowledge to be successful, but I’ve met plenty of bright salespeople that didn’t sell much and/or didn’t sell well. Selling is a skill that requires finesse to perfect. You can’t just read a book, watch a video, watch someone else sell, etc., and then “do it” yourself. Nearly every selling scene is differ­ent, with different actors, and different lines. You are forced to improvise on the spot. And, unless you’ve been constantly developing your craft, you’ll never be a “star”. Skill and knowledge aren’t enough. You have to have the determination to put them to use and continue learning through your own experience and the experience of oth­ ers. How many books on the subject of selling have you read in the last year? If you can’t name at least six, I’m disappointed. How many books on the subject of people, psychology, or communication have you read in the last year? Not enough again? If there are books out there that contain information that would be helpful to you in your selling career, why on earth wouldn’t you want to get your hands on as many of them as possible?

Do you know what your personal conversion rate is? Your conversion rate is your own personal batting average; how many customers did you talk with and how many did you sell? Conversion rate is

Skill and knowledge aren’t enough. You have to have the determination... one of the most important, if not the most important, statistics in all of selling. Do you have to wait for the manager in your store to require tracking this statistic, or can you do it on your own? Of course, you can do it on your own, but how many salespeople do or will? And then there’s your average sale, items per sale, sales per hour, gross sales, percentage increases over last year, and more. Every statistic you can possibly track, can be one more aid in facilitating your growth. You can’t possibly know if you’re getting better if you don’t have some way of mea­suring your success. I did some selling seminars for about 200 salespeople once. This particular company had never been very statistic or performance oriented, so when I asked the group to tell me how well they sold, the unanimous decision was that they were above average compared to other salespeople in their industry. I asked them to prove it and only one person in the group could do it. This gentleman had worked for the company for 18 years and had a personal book with him that had his performance statistics for every day he had worked, including graphs to easily determine whether he was getting bet­ter or not. He also had a separate book with extensive notes and entries of past cus­ tomers. When the traffic in the store was slow, this man had personal trade customers

coming in steadily. He never complained about how slow it was; he generated his own traffic by himself. He was known on occasion to hide a small tape recorder in his pocket and listen to his presentations after the customer left. This gave him an oppor­ tunity to review and learn from the sale, without losing his concentration during the sale. No one told him to do this, and yet he did it on his own. Not surprisingly, he happened to be the top salesperson in the company. Not be­cause of his 18 years of experience, but because of his 18 years of determination and personal desire to be the best. It’s time to get on with it. Quit talking about it, quit thinking about it, and quit waiting for someone else to help you. Just do it. There will be co-workers that will try and per­suade you to “lighten up”, but only out of envy for your persistence. Don’t join their club. Don’t let others be your excuse for giving less than 100% all of the time. You’re not competing against them, you’re competing with yourself. You’ve probably heard me say this: You’re the result of all of your yesterdays. What does this statement mean? No one stays the same. You are either getting better or getting worse. If you don’t make the most of your yesterdays by learning from each encounter with each customer, reading everything helpful to your job that you can get your hands on, and tracking your progress, you’re not growing. You don’t get something for nothing. Don’t cheat yourself out of life’s eventual rewards by putting forth only a minimal effort at work. No matter what your personal goals are, your character and experience is built and strengthened everyday, but only if you realize that you are in charge of your own life, and you alone are responsible. Good luck.

Harry J. Friedman is an internationally acclaimed retail consultant and CEO of The Friedman Group. Since 1980, his retail sales and management techniques have been used by over 5000,000 retailers worldwide. For a FREE subscription to his monthly On The Floor Journal enewsletter, information on upcoming retail seminars, training programs, or on-site consulting, call 800-351-8040 or visit www.thefriedmangroup.com


If you wish to receive FFR regularly by subscription, filling out the Marketing Survey portion is optional

SUBSCRIPTION

Send a check/money order ($30 for USA subscribers) along with your address and contact information to our office. International orders- please contact office for rates. Advice for a FREE SUBSCRIPTION: Ask our advertisers or your vendors to pay for your subscription! If your business is important to them, they may agree to by pay for your subscription from their marketing funds.

Business Name:_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ City:____________________________________________________ State:______ Zip:______________________________________ Phone:__________________________________________________ Fax:_ _______________________________________________ Name:_ _________________________________________________ E-Mail:_ _____________________________________________

Focus on Fashion Retail is a direct mail business magazine, distributed ONLY to targeted audience. If you have received this copy of FFR with the mail, it’s because your business’ description matched the criteria set by our advertisers. Please fill out the marketing survey below to be included in our database for a chance to receive FFR occasionally, regularly (or never again) - depending on marketing preferences of our advertisers (US retailers only).

As a service to our worldwide audience, Focus on Fashion Retail regularly conducts surveys to determine satisfaction with the various footwear, apparel and accessories trade shows and to rank our readers’ favorites. Being an independent media outlet not affiliated with any trade show, we believe that peoples’ opinion must be heard, it adds up to the value of our services as well as serves the needs of the industry. As always, in the closing issue of the year (November) we will be announcing and reviewing the TOP 10 TRADE SHOWS of 2010. For that purpose, we will be conducting this survey throughout the year, offering to rate performance of various shows. Events collected the maximum score will make it to the final list. If you have attended any of the shows listed below and would like to submit your opinion, please do so according to these rules: • Rate the shows you have attended on the scale of 1 through 10, where 1 is awful and 10 is awesome; • You must identify yourself (see opposite side); • Your opinion must be fair and objective; • You must be an independent observer, not employed by not affiliated with any trade show;

MARKETING SURVEY

Show

Please fill out this form completely, answering ALL questions. Incomplete or inaccurate entries will not be considered.

oMen oWomen oChildren

Age Group:

oInfants And Kids oTeens o20-30 o30-45 o45+

Services offered at the show

Cost of attending/ exhibiting

Value for your business

Atlanta Apparel Market Australian Shoe Fair

Store Type:

oIndependent oBoutique oDept. Store oChain Store 1-5 Locations oChain Store 5+ Locations

Merchandise:

oShoes Only oApparel Only oAccessories Only oAll

Type:

oDress oCasual oAthletic oComfort/Slippers oSpecial Occasions oWestern oDance oMedical oShoecare/Footcare oUrban oEthic oBeach oGothic/Alternative/Other_________________________________________________

Bread & Butter Brighte Chicago Men's Wear Collective Chicago Shoe Expo

Best Selling Brands__________________________________________________________________________________________

Children's Club

Notes About Your Store_______________________________________________________________________________________

Coterie

What do you would like to see in trade magazine?_ ________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Convenience

Atelier Designer

RETAILER: Please name your 3 biggest headaches to which you want to find a solution: 1._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ 2._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ 3._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Attendance, Traffic

Action Sports Retailer ASR

Organization, Planning, Promotion

AccessoriesTheShow

• • • •

Your personal information will not be disclosed, nor shared with anybody. Thank you!

Accessorie Circuit

Your Primary Business Sources (describe): o Trade Magazines_________________________________________________________________________________ o Consumer Magazines_ ____________________________________________________________________________ o Trade Shows_ ___________________________________________________________________________________ o Internet oCatalogs How Do You Find New Merchandise?: oAt Trade Shows oResponding To Ads oSellers Contact You At Trade Shows You: o Know Exactly What You Need And Who Sells It o Know Exactly What You Need But Don’t Know Who Sells It o Just Looking How Frequently Do You Purchase Merchandise For Your Store?: o Every Month oEvery 3 Months oEvery 6 Months Your Average Purchase Is: oLess Than $1,000 o$1-5k o$5-10k o$10k+ Your Priorities Are (Please RATE, 1 is most important): oPrice oFashion oBrand o‪Quality oOther________

• •

Upon completion, please send this form to FFR.

(capsule) Women's

Retail Price Point: oDiscount oBudget ($20-40) oModerate ($40-70) oUpper Moderate ($70-120) oLower High End ($120-$200) oHigh-End ($200-$400) oLuxury ($400+)

• Please rate only those events that you have attended within last 6 months.

(capsule) Men's

I certify that I am: oA Retailer__________________(signature) / oNot a Retailer If a retailer, please tell about your store: Specialty:

YOUR OPINION COUNTS

YOUR OPINION COUNTS

Couromoda Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market Fame FN Platform Focus Hong Kong Fashion Week IF International Istanbul Fashion Fair Intermezzo Collections KIDShow London Fashion Week Londonedge/ Londoncentral MAGIC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Metropolitan New York Shoe Market Michigan Shoe Market Moda Las Vegas Moda Manhattan

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If you wish to receive FFR regularly by subscription, filling out the Marketing Survey portion is optional

SUBSCRIPTION

Send a check/money order ($30 for USA subscribers) along with your address and contact information to our office. International orders- please contact office for rates. Advice for a FREE SUBSCRIPTION: Ask our advertisers or your vendors to pay for your subscription! If your business is important to them, they may agree to by pay for your subscription from their marketing funds.

Business Name:_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ City:____________________________________________________ State:______ Zip:______________________________________ Phone:__________________________________________________ Fax:_ _______________________________________________ Name:_ _________________________________________________ E-Mail:_ _____________________________________________

Focus on Fashion Retail is a direct mail business magazine, distributed ONLY to targeted audience. If you have received this copy of FFR with the mail, it’s because your business’ description matched the criteria set by our advertisers. Please fill out the marketing survey below to be included in our database for a chance to receive FFR occasionally, regularly (or never again) - depending on marketing preferences of our advertisers (US retailers only).

As a service to our worldwide audience, Focus on Fashion Retail regularly conducts surveys to determine satisfaction with the various footwear, apparel and accessories trade shows and to rank our readers’ favorites. Being an independent media outlet not affiliated with any trade show, we believe that peoples’ opinion must be heard, it adds up to the value of our services as well as serves the needs of the industry. As always, in the closing issue of the year (November) we will be announcing and reviewing the TOP 10 TRADE SHOWS of 2010. For that purpose, we will be conducting this survey throughout the year, offering to rate performance of various shows. Events collected the maximum score will make it to the final list. If you have attended any of the shows listed below and would like to submit your opinion, please do so according to these rules: • Rate the shows you have attended on the scale of 1 through 10, where 1 is awful and 10 is awesome; • You must identify yourself (see opposite side); • Your opinion must be fair and objective; • You must be an independent observer, not employed by not affiliated with any trade show;

MARKETING SURVEY

Show

Please fill out this form completely, answering ALL questions. Incomplete or inaccurate entries will not be considered.

oMen oWomen oChildren

Age Group:

oInfants And Kids oTeens o20-30 o30-45 o45+

Services offered at the show

Cost of attending/ exhibiting

Value for your business

Atlanta Apparel Market Australian Shoe Fair

Store Type:

oIndependent oBoutique oDept. Store oChain Store 1-5 Locations oChain Store 5+ Locations

Merchandise:

oShoes Only oApparel Only oAccessories Only oAll

Type:

oDress oCasual oAthletic oComfort/Slippers oSpecial Occasions oWestern oDance oMedical oShoecare/Footcare oUrban oEthic oBeach oGothic/Alternative/Other_________________________________________________

Bread & Butter Brighte Chicago Men's Wear Collective Chicago Shoe Expo

Best Selling Brands__________________________________________________________________________________________

Children's Club

Notes About Your Store_______________________________________________________________________________________

Coterie

What do you would like to see in trade magazine?_ ________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Convenience

Atelier Designer

RETAILER: Please name your 3 biggest headaches to which you want to find a solution: 1._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ 2._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ 3._ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Attendance, Traffic

Action Sports Retailer ASR

Organization, Planning, Promotion

AccessoriesTheShow

• • • •

Your personal information will not be disclosed, nor shared with anybody. Thank you!

Accessorie Circuit

Your Primary Business Sources (describe): o Trade Magazines_________________________________________________________________________________ o Consumer Magazines_ ____________________________________________________________________________ o Trade Shows_ ___________________________________________________________________________________ o Internet oCatalogs How Do You Find New Merchandise?: oAt Trade Shows oResponding To Ads oSellers Contact You At Trade Shows You: o Know Exactly What You Need And Who Sells It o Know Exactly What You Need But Don’t Know Who Sells It o Just Looking How Frequently Do You Purchase Merchandise For Your Store?: o Every Month oEvery 3 Months oEvery 6 Months Your Average Purchase Is: oLess Than $1,000 o$1-5k o$5-10k o$10k+ Your Priorities Are (Please RATE, 1 is most important): oPrice oFashion oBrand o‪Quality oOther________

• •

Upon completion, please send this form to FFR.

(capsule) Women's

Retail Price Point: oDiscount oBudget ($20-40) oModerate ($40-70) oUpper Moderate ($70-120) oLower High End ($120-$200) oHigh-End ($200-$400) oLuxury ($400+)

• Please rate only those events that you have attended within last 6 months.

(capsule) Men's

I certify that I am: oA Retailer__________________(signature) / oNot a Retailer If a retailer, please tell about your store: Specialty:

YOUR OPINION COUNTS

YOUR OPINION COUNTS

Couromoda Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market Fame FN Platform Focus Hong Kong Fashion Week IF International Istanbul Fashion Fair Intermezzo Collections KIDShow London Fashion Week Londonedge/ Londoncentral MAGIC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Metropolitan New York Shoe Market Michigan Shoe Market Moda Las Vegas Moda Manhattan

Any Suggestions/ Comments to help FFR to become more helpful to your business?____________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 38

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YOUR OPINION COUNTS

YOUR OPINION COUNTS Show

Organization, Planning, Promotion

Attendance, Traffic

Convenience

Services offered at the show

Cost of attending/ exhibiting

Value for your business

Mosleather Mosshoes MRket LV MRket NY Nouveau Collective Off Price Specialist Show Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Pitti Immagine Bimbo Pitti Immagine Uomo Pitti_W Woman Pre-collections Pool Trade Show Premiere Classe Premium Pret A Porter Paris Project Project New York Rendez-Vous NYC The International Madrid Fashion Show (SIMM) Sole Commerce Southwest Shoe Expo Spirit Of Fashion Stylemax The Atlanta Shoe Market- TASM The Children's Great Event Shoe Show The Collective The Men's Show - Dallas Collective The New York Shoe Expo (FFANY) The Train Transit- The Los Angeles Shoe Show Who's Next WomensWear In Nevada- WWIN WSA Show

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213.612.4553 FAX Michael Wang PRODUCTION

01/18/10

213.612.4488 PHONE

ADDRESS

DATE FOS

Jeannie Cho ACCOUNT Ex.

PUBLICATION Pla

Jennifer Springman ART DIRECTOR

PROJECT

4c COLORS

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100% SCALE

JOB

TRIM

SPECS

2336PLA_Focus on shoes ad

LIVE

n/A

GUTTER

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CONTACT

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Steve Madden Men’s Kenneth Cole Reed Evins Dawgs Mossy Oak Bernie Mev E DIENN CANA La Giant Stags Deer MUK LUKS Betsey Johnson Lacoste Gibson London Delicacy Bettye Muller Lamo Giraudon Delli Aldo Beverly Feldman Girly Girl Delli Dino Beyond Skin al ation Intern on Demf Biviel february 16-18, 2010 · LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER · fnPLATFORM.COM Dereon Blowfish Malibu exhibitors/buyers: 818.593.5000 info@fnplatform.com | press: 818.227.4047 press@fnplatform.com

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February 2010- FOCUS ON FASHION RETAIL