HIGH POINT — “Winning the transitions” and “retail as theater” were key takeaways from the always lively Dos Marcos Bedding Podcast during the Furniture Today Bedding Conference.
Spink & Co. co-founder Mark Quinn and Englander President and CEO Mark Kinsley brought their freewheeling podcast — complete with tequila shots — to the virtual conference, where they made those two points of emphasis.
To stand out at retail, Kinsley said, “You have to win in the transitions,” noting those start when a shopper gets out of their car and continue as they walk in the door, through the sales process and ultimately delivery at the home.
“Do you think about what happens when a person gets out of the car and walks into the store?” Quinn asked. Grabbing their attention right away could entail a sign reading “You’re steps away from better sleep,” a fun quote or shining a light on a local charity.
Kinsley added that COVID-19 represents a major transition, as well: “You can be the most responsive (retailer); you can be the one who has reliable stock.”
Quinn pointed to one retailer that had to shut down the store during the pandemic but went to social media to help consumers know what stores were still open. He told Quinn that numerous shoppers mentioned their appreciation after the store reopened.
Takeaway two: “The retail store is part of the ‘theater.’” “Brands are going to be built online, and they’re going to look for media outlets — stores — that tell their story and build their brand,” Kinsley said.
“You can’t say the retail store is the brand if all you’re doing is price promotion,” Quinn added, noting the impact of brick-and-mortar for online bedding players Copper River and Nectar. “They got a 32% to 35% lift in online sales (in areas) where they’re in physical stores.”
It’s about converting the store from a transactional environment to a fun place to shop and work.
“If people are having fun working for your company, it flows through to the customer,” Quinn said. “Have empathy, serve people and have good intentions.”
Dos Marcos also revealed they have a book coming out this year on how to build a brand people love and how to increase traffic in the store. For more information go to mattresspodcast.com/Book/.
Missed the Bedding Conference? You can still register to watch the sessions at beddingcon.pbmconferences.com
I’m Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. Upon my return to F/T, I developed coverage of the logistical and service aspects of the furniture industry as well as following the occasional, home office and home entertainment categories. In April 2018 I took over the upholstery category, with responsibility for coverage of the fabric and leather stationary and motion upholstery, recliners and massage chair categories.