In retail, it seems, one finds themselves either strategizing for the following year, or in the heat of the holiday season. Accomplishing both, simultaneously, competently anyhow, is not possible.
The past nine months or so, since Christmas 2010, I have been working with my team on strategic initiatives to keep Shane Co. on the cutting edge of retailing. There are too many to list, and some we’d like to keep quiet for a bit longer until they’re ready to launch, but they’re all fun and exciting, to me anyhow.
Reflecting back on the past nine months of strategizing and planning, I know that we are proud and excited to see how our efforts will pay off in the years ahead. With a company that has been around as long as my family’s has, with such intense effort by the same “Shane” brains, it’s hard for us to come up with completely radical ideas that will bear fruit immediately. Anyhow, we are typically risk-adverse with our ideas, and long-term thinkers, concurrently. Therefore, most of our planning initiatives involve more of a planting of seedlings technique than the transplanting of a mature oak tree.
For example, one thing that we are currently rolling out is a true customer retention program. This is something that is near and dear to my heart, because I truly feel like we’re doing our customers as much of a favor as we are ourselves with this program. In short, we will keep track of all information on you and your family members that you would like us to have. This includes birthdays and anniversaries, your celebrated holidays, jewelry preferences, your ring size, and a few other things that I’ll hold back for now on discussing. Anyhow, of course the goal in the end is to sell more jewelry with it, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard as a salesperson in our stores a customer come in for a birthday or anniversary gift…days after the birthday or anniversary! Or, I often find guys in our stores making a valiant effort to find the perfect gift, stating that he really has no idea what she likes, even though they’ve been married for decades! Now we’ll know, and so will he. This process is tedious on our end, and will be slow to show positive results, but after a few years, it will just be another beneficial part of the Shane Co. experience.
We are also planning on some very fun technology initiatives, but that’ll have to be revealed at a different point in time, as they are soon to launch, and after all, I’m well trained in not ruining any surprises.
The Japanese have an ancient ‘theory’, for the lack of a better term, which thrives on slow, constant growth, ensuring that every day is a bit stronger than the one that preceded it. With this belief, rarely are there huge fast gains in whatever is being measured, but rarely are there the huge falls that come with leaps. I’d like to think that we as a company have a similar belief structure, and am very excited to continue to watch our foundation get stronger, as we test our creative boundaries now and into the future, once Christmas passes again, that is.