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Furniture Retail Tip #41 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90 - Did You Bring The "Kids" To High Point?

Furniture World News Desk on 5/7/2012

Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90

So you went to the High Point Market – Mazel Tov!

You bathed in style and color. You discovered new worlds of design in wood, in fabric, in color, in textures, in grain, in brass and leather that will look great on your retail floor. Every little knob or handle is a work of thought and design. And the more you selected and chose, the more you had the opportunity to discover new charm, quality and distinction for your consumers.

Markets are the best places to compare value, make important contacts and go to seminars. You can re-connect with manufacturing friends who are betting on the horses they are exhibiting. A-n-d make retail friends who share tips and maybe some good old North Carolina barbeque.

So! You went and did the High Point Market! What did that mean to you and your business?

  • You now saw everything that's made in the High Point market? Nope!
  • You now know everything about what kind of "stuff " a majority of furniture manufacturers manufacture? Nope! 
  • You met lots of people and saw great new products? Sure.
And you're going to do it again? Absolutely. But what could you do better next time? Well... what about taking along the kids?

It's simple. It's like when our kids were growing up. We took them along on vacation, because that's what caring parents do. Caring parents want to make sure that their kids are happy, feel included and make sure that they develop and learn to the best of their abilities.

Your sales and design associates may or may not be your real, flesh and blood children, but they are the present and future of your business success. And just like real kids, they appreciate coming along, being included and having a chance to learn and pass on newfound knowledge with increased confidence to their customers.

When you bring design and sales associates to Market, they get involved in the choosing and dreaming process that is the backbone of creativity and fresh design in our industry.

So, if you consider Grandpa Mike-e-e's advice and bring one or two of them to High Point or Las Vegas every year, don’t just let them tag along with you. Give them some responsibility!

Put a video camera in their hands so they can document and comment on the designs and people they meet along the way. Let them do some 60 second interviews with your suppliers. Later, back at the store, they can  give a presentation to their “siblings” about all the exciting things they experienced.

Let them “tweet” about what they see and post to Facebook for the benefit of employees and customers.

Not only will doing this help with the professional development of the people who come along, it will have the potential to create a whole new level of excitement on your sales floor.

Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90

Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com

PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at  http://bitly.com/qALkrX

About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)

Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.

Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.

Graduated high school at 16.

Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.

Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.

Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.

Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.

Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.

Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.

Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.

Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.

Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.

He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."

Retired from retail management at age 70.

BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.

Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home

Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.

At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.

Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,

IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.

At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.

Grandpa Mike-e-e

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