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The Benefits of a Poor Economy

The Benefits of a Poor Economy

Who said the recession is over? Has the consumer finished cocooning? Are they all done with Stay-cations? I think not, but someone is going to have to inspire them to have one at home in their own backyard. Are we going to leave that up to Frontgate and Pottery Barn?

This economic near-depression is probably going to last a long time as long as our government has anything to do with it, and it does. This is reflected in a broad range of change in consumer and business spending habits ranging from SLD (spending lock down) to basic simplification frugality. Those who continue to earn and spend are paying down debt, saving aggressively, and have adopted a consciousness NOT to flaunt luxuries in front of their friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and employees. That’s pretty much everyone isn’t it? Continue reading

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Recessionary State of Mind

Forrest Gump

“Recession is as recession does,”

This was the reported response (according to About.com:Retail Industry) from the fictitious Forrest Gump Worldwide Management Consortium to an October 2008 AlixPartners survey of consumers on the prospects of a recession:

  • 86% believed the U.S. was in a recession or depression.
  • 64% said they would spend less in retail stores to prepare for the hard economic times
  • 46% predicted hard times would last three years.

The point of the article is that consumer response to recessionary news determines the level of recession at retail. More important, the response by retailers determines how well they do. The article cites cases during previous recessions where companies and brands such as Chrysler, Ivory Soap, Kellogg’s, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell successfully introduced new strategies that brought them greater market share both during and post recession. Time and again history has shown that retailers that respond with aggressive marketing of innovative strategies come through and out of troubled times better than those who do not.

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Please Do This When a Customer Interrupts You . . .

A Strategy for Sales Success:

This?

“When a customer does interrupt you..just talk to them…and they’ll probably buy something.” As was told to me in February 2009 by the owner of a retail garden center concerning their plans for improving results for the spring of 2009. He figured that realistically, if he could just get his merchandise focused people to give a little attention to frustrated customers it would be an improvement over the previous years performance and would lead to increased sales. Kind of makes some sense does it not?

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How to participate in the recession . . .

How much are plants worth this spring?

How do the rules of doing business during recession apply to you?

While it could be good advice to follow a growing trend of people who have decided not to participate in this recession, even better advice may be to participate fully in the effects the economic downturn is causing.

Should you make sure you get your share of any government stimulus money opportunities? Or, should you pay more attention to the way you run your business and get everything lined up to increase sales and margin dollars this year?

The news on early spring gardening interest is much better than anyone anticipated six months ago, or even three months ago.  I hope you are not getting tired of hearing about it in all the garden center industry news yet! The question is, are you ready to make everything you can of it, without hanging your backside out so far you cannot recover if it falls short.

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