Remodels are the Ultimate sales prevention- Blog #158

Remodels are the Ultimate sales prevention- Blog #158

Remodels are the Ultimate sales prevention

Blog #157  I talked about The infamous Bill and Mikes Cluck U adventure. In this blog I want to talk about how remodels are the ultimate sales prevention.


“Sales prevention can I help you?” Okay I’m a smartass and have been for years. If there’s a punchline somewhere I’m saying it. Anything for a laugh. Sometimes it’s not that funny, but to lighten people up you say it anyways. Nordstrom was going through some things trying to “Re-invent itself”. That might have been one of the campaigns to try to modernize the company. “The difference is” was definitely one. Let’s try to be hip and cool was the thought process.




So we had that going on, didn’t help business…”Sales Prevention…may…I…help…you” kind of drifted out of my mind. Monte was coming in for his first store visit. We looked great so I wasn’t really worried about that but Construction started in front of the mall and our business was tough, I mean really tough. The mall was remodeling it’s look, so it was starting with the front of the mall. Let’s tear out the entire front end of the mall so we look like the mall is closing up. “Sales Prevention…”


Monte arrives and we chat about the tractors out front, “Bad timing for a remodel” Monte would say in a snarky way. I loved his sense of humor, super dry and real smart ass too. Loved it! We walk the floor, he pointed out some good suggestions. We get to the back, it was dialed, Chris hired a really great stock guy named Douglas and he was amazing. That went well. PO time.


What Secret drawer?


We get the PO book and look through it, he had a few suggestions on brands that were struggling and tips on how he did things to improve them. “OK…Lets be honest now” huh? “Where’s your secret drawer?” He was trying to be cool about it. Most buyers had one. Most successful buyers floated their PO’s so right when cutoff hit. Bam! Magically the on order increased. Then you had 30 days to either have big increases or move shit out. “C’mon, where is it?” You can be honest with me. Dude I don’t have a secret drawer, that was Palo Alto.


He gave up after a while. I wasn’t lying to him either. Technically I had two secret drawers. One for Women’s and one for Salon. I was way more careful this time though because I did it for the right reasons this time. The Merchandisers made the sales plans and I had full confidence in Tom’s ability for business because, he made the plans. Off to Pleasanton Monte went.


Call with Marty


Guess I’ll give Marty a heads up he’s on his way. Marty and I would end up talking about a lot of different things each time we chatted on the phone. I didn’t want to take away his prep time but we got into this conversation about change and how many people went through Northern California. So during the course of my time we had at the max 10 stores and a few rack stores too.


Hillsdale – 2 buyers

Walnut Creek – 3 buyers

Palo Alto – 3 buyers

Corte Madera – 1 buyer

Oak Ridge (Which closed 1995) – 1 buyer

Valley Fair – 2 buyers

Stonestown – 1 buyer

San Francisco Centre – 3 buyers

Arden Fair – 2 buyers

Pleasanton – 1 buyer


At this time there were buyers in each store and the amount of buyers per store would be based on how big the stores volume was for each department. That’s why some of the floors had combined buyers. These numbers do not include the Men’s or Kid’s departments either which also had 1 buyer per store. We started talking about all the different people that came and went. Some through promotions others not so lucky. At one time we had 19 buyers in the Women’s footwear area.


Conversation continues


Marty had to go because of Monte’s visit but we continued the conversation for the next couple of days and we started writing down the names of everyone. Do you remember that guy that was a surfer in Valley Fair? What was his name again? How about Dino in San Francisco? The names kept coming to us. We eventually landed at 129 different buyers from 1989- 1999.We also had alot of RMM’s change as well.


Of course Marty would go into a story about a celebrity he met or some interesting thing that happened to him. He had so many good ones to tell too. The crazy thing about the changes we were talking about were just moments in time.  The big changes were right around the corner…


…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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