Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Martha Stewart Fixtures Arrived Today

Our Martha Stewart fixtures arrived this morning! We are currently merchandising them to the very strict standards that are required. The company has very specific standards on exactly what is on each fixture and exactly where each piece of merchandise is located on the fixture. It makes it pretty easy to set up but we don't have everything yet and several of the fixtures are more than half empty.

The fixtures are very large and evidently not designed for a smaller store such as mine. They were designed to be in a Herald Square or Downtown Seattle size store. Their scale does not match our current fixtures and look out of place. We've managed to make it work, however and it it starting to look better as we are getting things put together.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Martha Stewart Collection

I'm very excited that we are very close to installing our Martha Stewart Collection shop in our small ticket homeworld departments. Macys has the exclusive on this product and it will be our premier private brand. Unfortunately, Kmart also carries Martha Stewart but it's not the same thing. Macys product line was developed with her input and participation whereas the Kmart line was and is not.

We have a lot of the merchandise already on the floor and the fixtures are arriving on Tuesday, July 17. At that time we will take the merchandise off the current old fixtures and place it on the fixtures that were designed to house the product. From the plans we have it will look great.

From what I've seen the quality of the merchandise is excellent. It's not high end but rather a mid range quality and price which will give it a much larger audience. You can tell that she had a lot of input in the design of line and it is very impressive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lots of Change

The store and the company have been going through a lot of change since February and I've been very busy working on executing these changes which is why I haven't been able to add any posts for a while.

It seems like there is something new and different every day I come to work. To be honest, I have been uncomfortable with most of this change but am finding myself reinvigorated and more focused than I have been in a long time. In addition, I am finding these changes in the way we are operating the stores and the company are very good and positive.

It's important as a store manager to embrace these changes, even if you have you doubts, and do everything you can to support their execution. It gives me a great deal of confidence knowing that the people at Macys who implement the change know what they are doing and are very qualified and smart people.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Tipping Point Final Results

I have to say that the Tipping Point experiment that I did on our store's Thanks For Sharing program worked. It didn't work to the degree I was hoping but we definitely sold our five "Mavens" on the program and they did what they could to influence the rest of the store's employees.

I believe that it would have worked much better had I began the experiment in October, when the program started, rather then the end of November, when business getting very hectic and busy and the focus more on pure selling.

Al in all, we came very close to making our goal and exceeded last year's numbers. I'm disappointed that we didn't make our goal but am happy we made last year.

I plan on using the Tipping Point procedure in the future for other programs in the store. I think I'll change up the "Mavens" from time to time as I'm not so sure I picked the best five in the Thanks For Sharing experiment.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Love Your Location

If you work for a big retailer, you are probably not from the community that you now work. It may be completely different then any other place that you ever lived. If you manage a store in a place that you can’t stand and are just hoping to get a promotion so you can get out of this “hellhole”, you will never win your people over. They will know that you dislike it and they will resent you because this is their town and they, for the most part, are happy and proud of where they live. If you are going to a place that you have never lived you better convince yourself that you are going to love living there during your time there. If you are taking the job solely for the promotion and a step to the next level and plan on tolerating it, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you know that you are going to dislike the place your are going to, you need to seriously consider not taking the job or convincing yourself that you will like it. If you are going to a location that you hear is horrible, take what you hear with a grain of salt. There are virtues to every community – which is why there are people still living there and your company built a store there. Look for the good things in the community and get involved. You have to sincerely let your people know that you love living in their community and that you want to become part of their community. Your people and your customers will respect you for it.

If you are a small, independent retailer you probably run your place in your hometown or in a place that you chose to live. Loving your location is not a problem for you because you made the choice.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Tipping Point Update

On Saturday, 12/2, I brought five "Mavens" together in my office and reviewed the importance of our Thanks For Sharing program. They were flattered that I chose them as the five most influential people in the store and really seemed to take their responsibility seriously. We had a very productive session and discussion regarding the program and I am hoping they take it to the floor and spread the epidemic.

While it's still too early to gauge their effectiveness, we had two very good days of selling the program. We sold nine on Saturday and six on Sunday which were better than we have done in any single day in several weeks. So it appears that my Mavens are starting to have an affect.

I will keep you posted throughout the month on this experiment.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tipping Point Experiment

I just got done reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I am going to try an experiment in my store based on his theory on how a few people can influence and start a positive epidemic.

I have a program called "Thanks For Sharing" that we sell to customers for $25.oo. $10.00 goes to two charities, The American Hear Association and Make A Wish and the other $15.00 goes to the cost of administering the program. In addition, the customer earns 10% on her card for every purchase she makes from the time she buys the program until January. We have raised millions for the charities and each customer averages a $70.00 rebate that they can use in February. It's a great program that benefits the charities, the customer, the company, and the store. We seem to have trouble selling the program because my associates are struggling getting behind the program. They are stuck on the $10/$15 split.

So I'm going to attempt an experiment where I will have a meeting with the five most influential sales associates in my store, my "Mavens", and really sell them on the program. I'll review the program through the handouts and videos and get those five people completely behind the program. My hope is those five Mavens will go out and help influence and spread the positive epidemic of selling our Thanks For Sharing program.

I will start on this next week as we are in the middle of preparing for "Black Friday".