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Issues in the Mid-90’s

Here is another treasure I found while cleaning out old folders and files. I can tell since this is in cursive that I wrote this in the mid-90’s. I went back and forth between cursive and Small Caps in my notes for many years until switching to Small Caps almost exclusively in the late 90’s. Here is what we were discussing at that time…

Here is the transcript of my chicken scratch above…


-Seen as lacking/not as strong as should be

-Change in “training” and emphasis on friendliness & service

-Promotion of all services

-More direct & noticeable push within community
–Toys for Tots
–Camps (?)
–Biking Safety
–Parenting/Safe Toys
–Books (Book of the Month Club)

-Addition of “child care” area

-Changing rooms for babies
–(Maybe revamp bathrooms?)

-Returning phone calls – special orders, etc.

-Emphasize Baby Registry


-Link sales to service*
–Camp day sign-up w/sale on sleeping bags
–BSA & Girl Scout promotions
–Bike Accessory sale w/Bike Safety Class

*Can have “sales” without being “gimmicky” by linking sales to services and promoting the service over the sale


Key takeaway… Two decades ago we were talking about how to do more for our customers – more services, more knowledge, and more activity – to get better sales. The late George Whalin once said, “A sale is what happens when you have served the customer.” Retail hasn’t changed much. Those rules still apply. Do more in your community. Do more for your customers. Tie your sales into servicing. It still works.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS I found this note in a folder of old store manuals. Shout out to my sister, Laura, who wrote the first Employee Manual for Toy House back in the 80’s.

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