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The Traveling Retailer's Tip #23: A Completely Non-Scientific Review of Media Outlets

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By Gordon Hecht

It’s probably the most serious conversation a married couple can have, and my ever-lovin’ and I were years overdue. It had been hanging like a cloud over us, and came to a head the day that dreaded envelope arrived. I opened it gingerly and peeked at the many printed pages. It was evident that swift action was needed.

That envelope contained- THE CABLE TV BILL! And they had done it again, RAISED THE PRICE. What started as a lark during our fifth year together as a $29.95 luxury had morphed over the ensuing 19 ¾ years into a $170 semi-necessity. Sure, we had added phone service and internet, but a full $110 of that bill was devoted to granting us viewing time of sitcoms from the 70s-90s, shopping channels, droning news crises, and 300+ other odd choices. Soon the decision was made, the axe was dropped and the CABLE CORD WAS CUT.

But that’s not what this article is about. Since this is 2016, I posted the cable cutting on Facebook, complete with photo. Within 24 hours I had 34 “Likes” and comments about the post. Since I only have 123 friends on Facebook, that’s a 28% response rate. The RESPONSES and how they AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS is the subject of this week’s article.

Here’s the bad news (for Cable TV providers)-TWO of the people who responded to my post wrote that they would never drop cable TV. One female and one male said that viewing the sports channels is very important to them. Seven people said they had already dropped cable and seven more said they planned to do the same in the very near future. Two more of my FB friends asked what other sources I was going to use, i.e. using an antenna in our area and streaming services. Of the friends that responded back on that HULU and Netflix were mentioned most often and Amazon Prime came in third place.
Here’s the good news for you! Cutting the cord is a trend.

  • First of all YOUR POTENTIAL SHOPPERS are adding a hundred bucks more into their discretionary income wallet.

  • Next-cutting cable is a result of the combination of diminished value of service, increased pricing, and better/lower cost/higher perceived value available in the market.

  • If this sounds like the demise of Blockbuster, Isuzu Cars, Montgomery Ward, and Men’s Warehouse closing 300 stores you are very observant.

  • Plan to adjust your Advertising Budget. The fact is that cable is hemorrhaging viewers. Plan to invest your marketing dollars in proportion to how your shoppers get their mattress buying information.

  • Ask yourself-“where are my shoppers most likely to look first for information about getting a mattress” Take 30 seconds to send me your answer.

  • Learn the lesson that the retailers noted above refused to accept. UPGRADE your store to become the HIGH VALUE, HIGH SERVICE, BEST LOOKING, and most of all EASIEST PLACE to buy in your market. That means shopping your competitors, online sources, and for the BRAVE AT HEART, candid conversations with non-buyers about why they scratched you off of their list
We haven’t discussed what we will do with the extra $110 that we are not sending to the cable guys. I suspect my everlovin’ will want to do something crazy with it, like put it in the rainy day fund. Or, maybe we will just do the smart thing and get that new gel foam bed or power reclining sofa that we have been talking about!



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