Posts Tagged ‘bench’

I See It’s On Sale

June 4, 2010

I’m standing near a table folding, and a woman comes up to me asking, “Everything here, it’s on sale, right?”

Usually such a question is rhetorical, but here she points at a sign on a bench, then waves at a table near it. (Just so you can understand, there is a larger table where the main product is placed, and then there are lower benches near or around the table–like satellites, or moons around a planet.) One bench has a sale sign, and it’s half-hidden by the higher, larger table–so all you can see is the top of the sign, which says, “Sale”. You can see 3/4ths of the word.

I try to tell her the bench is on sale, but the table is not, otherwise a sign would be on the bench and the table. I show her what I mean by placing the sign on the table (which also says, “Sale, Select items”), saying, “This would mean the table is on sale.” Then I put it back down on the bench and say, “This means the bench is on sale. And it says select items anyway.” She keeps arguing with me, saying, “But I can see the sale sign from here! I can see the sale sign from here, that means everything is on sale.”

First, while her jaw is going ‘blah-blah-blah’, I’m thinking, “Okay, the sign is a little big, but it isn’t even on the same table. Well, actually, it’s been there for a while now, and she’s the first person to get confused in over a week, making problems, and getting weird about it. You know, some people live their lives causing this kind of trouble for themselves. They just create stupidity.”

Then, I’m thinking, “If a wall nearby says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the area is on sale. You can’t point and say, ‘Well I can see the sale sign, that means everything is on sale.’ Who says that, other than this woman? Even when a window says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the store is on sale.” We’re just arguing semantics, and a customer’s ability to demand stupidity. I tell her everything on top of the table is going to ring up full-price, because it is full-price, but the sale items on the bench, they’ll ring up on sale. It’s not like I can change that fact.

Yet, she goes on about being able to see the sale sign; that it’s misleading marketing; that I was trying to trick her into buying something that’s not even on sale; that now she doesn’t want to buy anything at all. I’m sorry, you caught me in my dirty tricks; I wanted you to take something to the register and think its on sale, as if you would not whine and cry when you get there saying, “I can see the sign!” I am left to assume such threats and insults work to scare someone into changing their mind, saying everything is on sale? I just shrug and say, “Okay, but if you change your mind all this stuff on the back bench is REALLY cheap.”

I remember telling my boss about the dumb, fat woman, saying she’s a size-12 and she wanted a new pair of denim on sale, because she could see the top of a sign nearby. My manager replies, “She’s not that fat!”
“Well, because she’s so dumb,” I tell her, “That makes her fat-ter.”

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Blind, Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, The Dumb

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The Art of War in Retail: Terrain

May 25, 2010

Chapter 2
As the Opposition–customers–enter the battlefield, the terrain greatly affects the destination, the movements, and the actions of the Opposition. Understanding terrain, you have direct control of these movements. You can force the Opposition in a certain direction, you can choose where they go and what they do.

Mountains- Firstly, these are large, built structures, generally known as walls–they cannot move, thus the Opposition must move with or around them. In a sense, it traps them, because they cannot go around it. The Opposition cannot avoid you when next to Mountains. Secondly, these large landmasses are hard to climb and maneuver through–product is placed high, easily visible, but often attractive items are placed on these walls. Because of the sheer size of these masses, they are also effective at being seen from a distance–which is good for advertising and marketing. All traffic slows down at mountains, as some of the flashier and more amazing Soldiers–clothing–are displayed here. Very popular pieces of clothing are always placed on Mountains for this very reason.

Hills- Firstly, these are smaller structures–tables and other smaller, movable structures–thus easier to pass by the Opposition. Because of the size, the Opposition will go around these, and even move to avoid you when possible. Generally, high-selling product will be placed on the first Hills as you enter the store to take the initial bombardment–but Mountains will garner the main attention after this. Similar themed items will be placed on Hills. Hills can be totally engulfed by Opposition forces, as all parts are accessible. Because of the smaller size, the amount of Soldiers–clothing–present is much smaller. Yet, the devastation can be titanic, since Hills have only folded clothing and no hanging clothing.

Fields and Forests- Areas of light coverage, not as well suited for soldiers in a retail battlefield, these are racks and small tables able to take losses and keep on coming back–because they are less popular, or forgotten items, even ones that have a really high-price point. In a sense it is like a forest, because the Soldiers are well-hidden, and almost invisible. The Opposition must ‘want’ these items, thus they aren’t the hottest sellers–they aren’t items you’ll buy ‘just because’..

Streams- The course and movement of traffic will flow depending on how you set up the Mountains and Hills. This movement is Streams. You can diagram it as–the Opposition enters, they approach the initial Hill, then they face the Mountain, do they go to the next Mountain or another Hill? You can watch the ebb-and-flow understanding what is a popular destination and what is just forgotten. Once you get an idea of the flow of these streams, you will know where to position yourself, as General, to take care of your troops. You may also move Soldiers around: if one Hill is never attacked, you may move it closer to a Stream so the Opposition will pass by it; i.e. a Hill between two Mountains cannot be avoided. By moving very popular clothing to more remote locations, you know the Opposition will still search for it–because they want it. In this way, you have altered a Stream.

Using these tactics, you can appropriately prepare Mountains and Hills for battle. By watching Streams, you can choose what is best where. How will you develop your tactic? It depends on what it important to you. As a General and a Champion, you also learn where you want to be–in the back, watching your troops in battle, where no Opposition goes, ready to reinforce your troops or replenish them when defeated, or do you stand in the front lines battling the Opposition, helping to turn tides and moving them appropriately. Gaining skill and strategy in this area takes time, patience, and understanding. Once you do understand, you can make your entire Battlefield profitable, every Hill and every Mountain becomes a destination, and Streams will touch every shore.