Leslie Stroh, left and Len Andalino, right at the Couristan Cafe in High Point, 2017

We are in a competitive business. There are no silver bullets. It’s a wish list, because I suspect that most of the industry is focused so hard on survival, that they (we) are doing what we have always done — just harder — that we will not take the time to STOP and THINK.

Alex Peykar of Nourison with Leslie Stroh

 Focus on turnover. (Alex Peykar’s advice) Using product data at the line item level, start small. Liquidate your slowest turning items. Take the cash and re-invest it in your highest turning items. Repeat.

Leslie Stroh Walking the Market

Marketing is Strategy : Brainstorm The online business is telling us that a retail store’s marketing area is 20 miles around the store. So draw the circle 30 miles. Make a realistic estimate of who lives where. Visit them. Sit down with friends, colleaguesand staff to brainstorm.

John McGee of Capel & Leslie Stroh talking distribution

You are selling customer service, not product.Think of customer service as a strategy to market to designers. Meet them. Visit them. Figure that any one designer knows 50 potential customers. They will tell you what they want. Treat the conversation as a focus group for consumers. Visit them, visit them, visit them. After the third visit they will get the idea that you want their business. You are selling customer service, not product.

Leslie Stroh with Patti Carpenter

Stop worrying about price. Few retailers will have the traffic to compete with a $100/$200 or less 5×7. As an established retailer you will never be able to compete with the EVP who tells the newbie buyer to get a better price to increase sales. There is not, and never will be a one for one relationship between the percentage price reduction and percentage sales increase. It’s a joke, and the EVP knows it’s a joke, but there are vendors who will chase the bottom. Let them.

Baseball has the best advice: “Hit ‘em where they ain’t!”

It was Ted Williams who once said, “All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street, folks will say, ‘There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived.'”