Retail Observer

May 2024

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MAY 2024 6 Moe Lastfogel Moe's Musings Views Happy Retailing, We proudly support the following trade associations and buying groups throughout North America whose news and information greatly contribute to the quality of The Retail Observer and the education of our readers. THE RETAIL Follow us on: Join us at: Become a Fan: A t the Las Vegas Market in 2009, a panel of thought leaders discussed "2009: The Year in Anticipation" with a large group of designers and retailers. This advice is relevant to today's economy and it bears circling back to re-publish their thoughts. The panel featured Mark Cutler of Mark Cutler Design, Katherine Stout of Williams Sonoma, and Jena Hall of Aspen Home. Cutler began by sharing his proactive strategy to try to make his company "recession-proof." Cutler said, "The slower you get, the busier you have to become and put more energy into your business." Some steps Cutler took included: • Outsource various positions and each out to your client base regularly • Build cash reserves — go over P & L statements to determine profit centers • During slower times, increase hours spent at the office and focus on marketing • Plan market outreach and strategies, including blogging • Focus on branding email signature lines and business correspondence Williams Sonoma's Stout discussed the retailer's outreach to the design community, touted focusing on the customer and delivering value in a meaningful way. Stout's key points: • Do business-to-business outreach • Protect and promote your brand • Get out there and promote yourself • Look at marketing and see how much should be invested in print or the internet • Focus on your customer and be the best in customer service Hall at Aspen Home had a large design practice and since she joined the company, Aspen Home has had many years of progressive growth. Hall said, "The sun will come up tomorrow, it's going to shine, and you should be ready for it." Hall's key points included: • Cash is King — get reserves • Always improve your business skills • Continue to develop brand image and product development • Look at the back end of your business: vendors' credit, profit and loss and references • Create added value to your service or products • Continue to give back to the community The final message from the panel was to take this time as an opportunity to massage your business, since people will spend money on their homes and are still entertaining. Know your customer and their values, and realize that the industry will recover and grow. 2024 IS THE YEAR OF OPPORTUNITY

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