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The Traveling Retailer's Tip #20: Five For Fighting

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My Millennial friends and readers may think “100 Years” or “Superman (aka It’s Not Easy)” when they read today’s headline. Readers from Up North who follow the Bruins of Beantown or down south who cheer for the Lightning may flash on the NHL.

The term Five For Fighting dates back to 1922, when the NHL introduced Rule 56 that formally regulated fighting or “fisticuffs” as it was called in the official NHL rulebook. Rather than ejecting players from the game, as was the practice in amateur and collegiate hockey, players would be given a five-minute major penalty meaning they were removed from the game and their position was not replaced during the penalty.

Unlike football where penalized teams lose hard earned yards, or basketball where the opposing team is awarded uncontested free throws, Hockey’s penalty of removing a player gives the other team a true upper hand. In your everyday RETAIL FIGHT for scarce bedding dollars, you can’t let your opposition gain the upper hand on you! Check out the Five For Fighting tips below-designed to help you score on every power play!

  1. Google’s making a big change. Here’s what you need to know. Today, when your customers are trying to find you on Google, here’s what they have a chance to see. 3 ads at the top, 3 at the bottom, and 5 down the right hand side. 11 in total. So what’s changing? Those ads down the right hand side are going away. And Google’s added one ad to the top. That means instead of 11 ads showing; now there’s only 7, which means, unless properly managed, your ad has a 33% lower chance of being seen. Google Premier Partners are on top of this change and they will fight to keep all of their America’s Mattress clients’ ads in premium locations. You simply can’t win at this retail game alone-if you haven’t checked out connecting with a SEM or SEO partner in a while, there has never been a more compelling reason to reach out today. 

  2. You have got to show your retail pricing online. There’s just no reason not to! Your competitors are sharp and are probably saving your print ads and shopping your store-there’s no secrets left in this business. And your shoppers will hop off your site in a High Point minute if they have to “CLICK HERE” to get a price. BUT-It seems as we have let you down. Our system and server has just been getting overloaded with every price update and change. THE GOOD NEWS IS-we’re keeping our stick on the ice, and updating the way pricing gets uploaded. Look for these enhancements briefly-we’ll let you know when they are done, and you’ll be able to skate away on uploads in no time.

  3. New Products Drive the Market. Look for the best and brightest products in the marketplace. Not last year’s models with a new logo and jersey, but quantifiably improved products with NEW technology, NEW components that add to the ownership experience. Chances are you can POSSIBLY sell one of those power recliners or realistic electric fireplaces when it’s not on your showroom floor, but for those same shoppers will BELIEVE in MIRACLES when they get a live and in-person demo in your store. 

  4. Bundle Up! Hockey is played on ICE, and the arenas where the games are played are kept cool-usually about 55 degrees. If you’re planning to go to game, even in Charlotte or Tampa, you better bundle up! And if you want your accessory sales to move over the 55% attachment rate you’ll be well-served to bundle those. Bundling is a fancy term for packaging up services and accessories, like protectors, pillows, delivery and removal. Companies like McDonalds and Time-Warner Cable give their customers an elite experience and save those customers a few bucks too. 

  5. Ask for the Sale, and “NO” means “Tell me more”. Get an honest answer from your sales team. Did they ask EVERY shopper who came in last week to place an order? Did they give the shopper the opportunity to SAY NO? Rule #1 of retail bedding is-No one browses for a mattress. They all come in to BUY. Make your sales MANTRA-Every time the door swings, the register has to RING! Ask every shopper to buy SOMETHING and I will guarantee that your closing and volume will rise. AND-if your shopper says “NO” she really means-TELL ME MORE! Be sure to add one more feature and benefit on how her new mattress will improve her life.
I think of retail as WAR, others think about it as a GAME. In every great game they KEEP SCORE. That determines the Winners and Losers. Don’t go into today’s battle short-handed! Coach your players to use every tool, service, and merchandise that we offer. You may not get a HAT TRICK every day, but you’ll score more and sell more!


Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver.

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country.

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht