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  • Business, Retail and Customer Service Experience expert Doug Fleener is president and managing partner of Sixth Star Consulting, a consulting firm in Lexington, MA.

    As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes.


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February 11, 2008


This is very true - and we can attest to it. We run a little retail children's book/toy shop called The Blue Bunny. We feature the books and prints of my twin brother Peter H. Reynolds - and many of the books have that effect.
Peter's book he illustrated called SOMEDAY, which hit the NYTimes #1 spot last year, is almost GUARANTEED to make people cry. It's a sweet little book about a mother's wish for her child to live to her full potential - though the joy and trials of life. The intimation that the mother in the story passes on, is the final tug of the heart. We've placed these books at the front of the story - along with tissues - and by the time they get to the register further back, they've loaded up with merchandise.

So . . perhaps we're all playing some kind of a healing role in addressing the struggles of the human condition.
With the right product selection, the "Retailer Store Owner" can also be "Re-Storers of the Human Spirit." We know that mission energizes us - and keep customers coming back and spreading the word. (We've been in business five years - even have out of state customers coming to us, and last year tripled our space!)

Great insights Doug and Matt - this is one of the few professional eNews/Blog resources I actually look forward to in the midst of e-overload! -- Paul

Paul - Thanks for sharing your own experience with this phenomenon. I think a lot of "experts" who lack the real-world experience of running a retail endeavor would read into this study's findings as merely another way big business can (and often does) manipulate an already economically challenged buying public. The fact that particular merchandise can serve as therapy (regardless of how much somebody's willing to spend for it) reinforces my common teaching that sales associates need to look beyond "the now" of the immediate transaction, and consider and visualize how a customer will be using and living with a product after it's been brought home.

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