Live from Utah: Top 10 retail keys

Salt Lake City – The good news about True Value’s Top 10 list of things retailers have to do to win in today’s world is that many retailers are already doing them.

The bad news is that the list might change.

That was one of the messages True Value Co. CEO Lyle Heidemann delivered to members gathered here at the Salt Palace Convention Center for the co-op’s Fall Market. His General Session speech of Top 10 keys to winning at retail ranged from e-commerce to female friendliness to the need to be open to change. 

“The one thing I've learned over the past 45 years is that if you're in the retail business you constantly need to be changing or you're simply falling behind,” Heidemann said. “These 10 things I've outlined this morning are the price of entry to 'winning at retail.' But I also know that next year there will be some new things we'll have to address.” 

Here is his list:

1. E-commerce: Online home improvement online sales are 4% today and are expected to be more than 10% by 2015. “We must be part of this growth,” he said.

2. Gift cards: The co-op has sold more than 40,000 gift cards at more than $1.5 million, resulting in more than 50,000 transactions.

3. Social media: Younger consumers are “consumed” by social media, Heidemann said. “We need to learn how to communicate with these consumers and use their ways of communication to get our brand and product message to them.”

4. Reward programs: These are important for both existing and new customers.

5. Credit cards: In March 2013, True Value will launch three differenct credit cards, co-branded, private label and a commercial card. 

6. The female consumer: “She spends more time in our stores than a man, buys more items per shopping trip and shops more frequently. But she also has higher standards,” he said. 

7. Destination True Value: The co-op has more than 300 Destination True Value stores. These stores have a 7% sales advantage year to date over non-DTV stores.

8. Competitive pricing: Pricing plays an important role in the customer's first impression of a retailer.

9. Marketing and branding: “We, you and the co-op, need to do a better, more consistent job of marketing and branding our stores,” Heidemann said.

10. Openess to change: “I know you're all independent,” Heidemann said. “But I challenge you to embrace these 10 items and continue to be open to change.”

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