Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Million Dollar Dollar

The May Newsletter from Pima-Direct headlines two retail strategies and suggests that you choose one for 2009. The ‘Ostrich Strategy’ shows a cartoon of an ostrich with his head in the sand and enumerates the keys to the strategy of doing nothing and the expected results. The ‘Get Promoted Strategy’ contrasts the ostrich cartoon with a picture of a shirt and tie merchant carrying a huge ten dollar bill under his arm.

There is a restaurant in Newark, Del. that sends out a newsletter, much like Pima-Direct’s and the newsletter most Country Clubs and many public facilities keep their members and regular customers appraised of promotions with, called ‘The Scoop’. The restaurant is called CafĂ© Gelato and the owners think outside the box. The Scoop’s idea for May was obviously to entice patrons to bring Mom in to dine for Mother’s Day. The hook was marketed as ‘Millionaire Mom ‘ and the offering was that all Moms dining there on Mother’s Day weekend received a Delaware Lotto Ticket.

Most Pro Shops assuming decent weather have customers coming through the door; the challenge is to provide quality and expertise, sales help, product knowledge and to create an atmosphere that inspires shopping that is value-driven and fun. The two newsletters led me to this entry which will suggest that Mark Killeen at Pima-Direct is completely on target that all the ostriches with their head in the sand in the golf business are losing the retail battle. I want to contrast that with a merchant carrying a huge check for a million dollars instead of a ten-spot.

Here is the Pro Shop Strategy:

  • Pick a day of the week that is appropriate not only for your business but also coincides with the local Lottery drawings. Call it Saturday for this example.
  • Decide on a number of Lotto tickets you will be comfortable purchasing and that will make a difference for the day you have chosen based on your history of total sales for that day.
  • For this hypothetical let’s say 100 so we have a $100 investment.
  • Send out email announcements, a newsletter entry and a huge promotional sign in the shop. On Sunday have your own second drawing. Most lotto tickets have 6 numbers so you draw 6 numbers also.

'Millionaire Saturday'
The first 100 purchases of $50 or more
receive a Lotto ticket

Save your ticket for our Sunday Drawing!

5 numbers matched and Saturday’ purchase is free
4 numbers matched and Saturday’s purchase is 80% off
3 numbers matched and Saturday’s purchase is 60% off
2 numbers matched and Saturday’s purchase is 40% off
1 number matched and Saturday’s purchase is 20% off

Father's Day is fast approaching - you could have Millionaire Dad. The idea here is that Ostriches won’t be trying this hard but your shop will have some fun and have people talking about the promotion. Your cost is $1 per sale and hopefully some winners; hopefully a millionaire (then the word of mouth goes through the roof) and worst case scenario a quick 100 sales on Saturday morning. In the case of bad weather maybe you win the Lotto.

Hats off to Eddie Suchora at Park Country Club in Buffalo who beat his April sales forecast by double digits. Eddie very successfully instituted the Custom Ball Program for his members this spring and ran a promotion all month giving a free hat with the purchase of a shirt.

John Marino at Old Chatham in Durham, NC puts a signup sheet at the register for each of the Major Tournaments. The cost to the member is $25. There are eleven names per pool. After the cut at each tournament the staff randomly chooses the top ten names on the leader board and plugs in against the member names 1-10 per pool. Number 11 is the field. The winner per pool wins $275 shop credit. John credits this idea to Bob Ford who apparently has a $50 version as well. This idea works For Triple Crown races also and this Saturday is the Preakness.

Get out of the sand - it takes an idea, occasionally a small investment and the time it takes to print a sign.