Industry Dashboard for Jan. 7
The unemployment needle remains high, but at least it moved in the right direction in December, according to the latest government data. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, Tractor Supply, Sherwin-Williams and Weyerhaeuser show the biggest gains on the HCN Stock Roundup
No comments found
NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator
December 2010 shows consumers are slightly more concerned than they were last month, or last year. The NPD Group’s U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy, on a scale of 0 — "very concerned" — to 100 — "very confident."
No comments found
Readers Respond: Return policy best practices
"Marvin’s has a very customer-friendly return policy. If you buy something from us, you have the ability to return/exchange, repair or return/refund as long as you have a Marvin’s receipt. Right now, we do not have strict timelines established around returns (i.e., 30 days, 90 days, etc). We do require vendors to support our return policy as their customer, the same way we support our customers. We stand behind what we sell, and expect our suppliers to do the same. The easier we can make it to shop at Marvin’s for the customer — with obvious policies in place to protect us against abuse and fraud — the better our customers feel when they buy products from us. When we find issues of abuse, we address it accordingly, but for us, return abuse is the exception, not the rule. So we do not feel that crafting our return policies around the exception is a sound business practice, and it definitely would not make it easy for our customers.
“The mistakes that we have learned from over the years come mostly by learning from our fellow retailers. As they have tightened restrictions on product returns, it gives Marvin’s a marketing advantage, much like Costco practices with their customer-friendly return policy. It is far too easy to simply focus on the liability incurred by the occasional customer who abuses our liberal return policy. Some businesses have chosen to do exactly that, and in my opinion, they are at risk of losing sight of one crucial fact — that an easy return policy encourages far more customer confidence and loyalty, and thus, more profits, than an overly strict return policy can put on the bottom line.”
— Craig Cowart
Marvin’s Home Centers
I totally agree with Craig in
I totally agree with Craig in keeping the focus on building customer loyalty through a customer-friendly return policy. The eye must be kept firmly on building the customer experience over time and can sometimes be built on a small jesture. As a vendor to "big box" stores, my concern is directed towards those few customers who abuse the "system". Store personnel appreciate that policies are quickly set aside by upper management, even when abuse is clear or a return/refund is not warranted. If they simply follow the written policy, they will not be supported, so they choose the easy road rather than the right road. Good enough, we all understand that it is in the retailers best interest to honor an unwarranted return, its sales over time not today that build the business. I GET IT. All we need is for that same retailer to treat it's vendors with the same care as they do their customer...we all need each other. If a retailer makes the decision to honor an unwarranted or unreasonable return/refund request, they should do so at their expense, not their vendor. Barry Bader
I was at Target the other day
I was at Target the other day returning a toy gift. My wife told me I could return it, even though I didn't have the receipt. The sign on the wall said: "CUSTOMERS MUST HAVE RECEIPT." So I became agitated. Sure enough, they exchanged it for store credit without the receipt. The above is a lesson in business, but I'm not sure what the lesson is.