Go Shopping!

Posted on: May 1st, 2009 by admin No Comments

Hello Everyone –

I just read the editor’s letter in the recent Home Accent Today in which she talks about the 3/50 Project.  This is a very powerful concept.  See the article below.

As I talk to customers around the country, I hear a variety of stories. Some are seeing an increase in business. Some have too much stock and no traffic. Some say things are fine but they will not order any new merchandise until August.  All are committed to succeed and are using over the top customer service as the main weapon in this battle. 

I am getting orders from stores – some of the orders are just small special orders, other orders are for stock. Unfortunately, too many stores have not ordered at all this year, admitting that they want to keep their inventory values very low.

I have received 3 bankruptcy notices for retailers who had been in business for more than ten years.

The chain of fear needs to be broken. The only way to do this is to start spending a little money, (not a lot, just a little will do), preferably cash. A little money around your own town, as the 3/50 Project states, will keep businesses afloat. If these businesses stay afloat, then we all benefit.

I sell to the very stores that keep a neighborhood attractive. The independent retailers give a town character and a feeling of community. Please spread the word to your friends, neighbors, family and encourage them to spend money.

This 3/50 Project works in many directions. If consumers start shopping, then the retailers will start ordering from their vendors. If the retailers do not spend any money then the small vendors that provide unique and interesting product will not be able to survive. Most of the retailers I sell to have a terrific mix of product that makes their store unique and very appealing to shoppers. If consumer does not start shipping, then retailers can buy from their vendors, then we can’t survive.

There are many cogs to the machine that runs through our daily lives. We all play a part.




Editor’s Note: Economic stimulus

From the Editor

Jenny Heinzen York — Home Accents Today, 4/1/2009

One of the recurring comments I’ve heard over the last few months is, “where’s my bailout package?” or “who’s going to bail me out?”

And while our industry certainly isn’t getting anything directly from the government to help us, in an indirect way, I say we are.

Here’s how.

Beginning this month, most of us middle-classers started getting somewhat bigger paychecks in the form of smaller tax withholdings. No, it’s not going to make you rich, or really even any more safe and comfortable, but it doesn’t take a lot of cash to make a difference.

This leads me to my next point:

Gift and home industry consultant Cinda Baxter recently launched The 3/50 Project. It goes like this: Pick three independent retailers in your community that you would miss if they closed, visit them and spend some money in each.

If half the employed population spent $50 per month at those stores (based on February employment statistics), it would generate $42.6 billion in sales.

But it doesn’t stop at the stores. According to Baxter, for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community in taxes, payroll and other expenditures. At a national chain, that number drops to $42.

So that extra $10, $20 or $50 in our paychecks can make a real difference. It’s an inspired idea, and one that you are invited to use yourself for your own store’s benefit. Just go online to the350project.net and get on board.

This brings me to my next point.

When the government started the Troubled Asset Relief Program several months ago, it was met with a lot of consternation and confusion.

Right here in our own industry, however, we found a retailer who benefited in a very meaningful way from the bank bailouts. But I will let him tell the story himself, as Thompson Lange is our guest retailer columnist this month on page 67.

These may be baby steps, but they are steps in the right direction. Maybe there really is a bailout for everyone.


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