Market Pulse by ProQuest


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									       VP                      V I E W P O I N T Topics Creating a Buzz

            Changing Perspectives
            Vendors, reps and retailers discuss how the difficult retail environment has
            prompted them to change their measures of business success.

            Prior to the economy, continued sales               results. In the past, if revenue wasn’t grow-
            growth was a measure of success. Once               ing, the initial reaction was to do more. To-
            the economy had its downturn, our revised           day, our reaction is not to do more but to             Market Pulse
            goal was to just stay on a level course. For        figure out what we can do better.
            the first half of 2009, we were pleased that           We don’t measure our success with how
            Myself Belts was able to maintain 2008              many clients we ship to; rather, it’s “are we     Retailers share their
            sales. In the second half of 2009, we have
            been pleasantly surprised that sales have
                                                                capturing the full sales potential of this
                                                                client,” and “do these clients pay for their
                                                                                                                  current business
            grown over last year. Now that we see this          goods?” We try to balance delivering prod-        forecasts, strategies,
            rebound (due especially to strong back-             ucts and services that are accessible, respon-    thoughts and wishes.
            to-school sales), our goals are now chang-          sive and easy for our clients. —Anastasia
            ing. We are thrilled that we have been able         Backstrand, owner, Tralala                        How would you describe your feel-
            to grow Myself Belts in 2009 and that there                                                           ings about the immediate future of
            is increased brand awareness. —Danielle             Our success is defined by the success of our      your business?
            Eason, owner, Myself Belts                          specialty stores. We have adjusted our mix        55% Optimistic.
                                                                to accommodate the needs of our custom-           7% Pessimistic.
                                                                                                                  38% Depends on the day
            Success now has more to do with cash and            ers. In this economic climate, it is key to
            inventory management. It’s always been a            represent collections that will set the spe-
                                                                                                                  Are the Spring ’10 lines offering
            goal of mine to provide innovative and mod-         cialty retailer apart from department stores      more value in a way your customers
            ern design-driven baby items that you can’t         and discounters. We attribute our success         will appreciate?
            find anywhere else. The design principles           to customer service and our loyalty to spe-       25% Yes.
            have not changed and are becoming even              cialty stores. —Karen Jacoby and Lisa Sabin,      25% No.
            more important, so that as a brand, Lucky           owners, Katwalk Kids showroom                     50% Some are, but some are miss-
            Jade continues to look different. In dealing                                                          ing the mark.
            with our struggling economy, you have to             In these difficult economic times, it’s
            go with your gut, look at your sales history,        tempting to completely rethink our defini-       How much influence does the rep
                                                                 tion of personal and professional success,       have over your choice to bring in a
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