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Feb. 252012

February 25, 2012

►    A Service and Repair Report Card was received from Bob in Amherst, NH who had work done on his hot tub.  He reported Excellent on all 17 points.  “Paul and Joe did a great job fixing my hot tub.  I am concerned that this is the second time the same port has failed on this tub (a Marquis Epic).”  I talked to them, it took two tries (at no charge) to figure out the problem.  The valve wasn’t defective – the plumbing below it was at an odd angle, and that caused the valve to jiggle.  It is fine now, and has been fine for seven months. 

►    Lots of things change on Sunday, February 26:  Web Advertising (Look at The Big Picture), Weekly Specials, the March Clearance Sale on Hot Tubs, and a March Pre-Season Sale on Above Ground Pools.  All of these will continue through the following week, too. 

►    Thank you to Paul for adding a $20 tip to the tip jar. 

►    Rose just glued up a batch of note pads, with our recycled paper and chipboard backs from chipboard I save from my pads of lined paper.  Problem is, you go through more note pads than I go through pads of lined paper.  So, could you remember to not throw the note pad backs into paper recycling, but put them in Rose’s mailbox then we can re-use them next time.  Another Seasonal Green Solution. 

►    I will be at the Hearth and Barbeque Show in Atlanta for a few days next week. 

►    Happy Birthday to Roz on March 2.  Good luck to Patrick at the National bowling tournament in Louisiana next weekend, and to the sales people and set-up people at the Home Show that same weekend. 

►    Be careful answering questions on store hours.  After Wednesday, February 29, we will go back to being open on Wednesdays. 

►    Phase one of the new website improvements should be going online this week or next.  The most important part of it, you can not see:  we are installing a Content Management System.  Rose and Anne-Marie are taking classes on how to operate it.  Once they are done, we will be able to make corrections, repairs, and updates ourselves.  That may seem stupid, since everyone can fix their own website.  But that’s not entirely true.  Our site’s initial coding goes back to 1998, when there were no templates and content management systems.  Everything was coded by hand.  Our 2002 upgrade made it more streamlined, but was still done by hand.  So were our 2007 improvements.  If we had a smaller site, we would have started all over again, but we have more than 200 pages of printed content.  Converting a site that big was a big and expensive project! 

Here’s an example:  The FAQ page had 183 lines of code before the upgrade.  The new version has 491 lines of code – with no additional information on it.  The front page went from 176 lines to 506 lines, with much less copy, but way more photos.  On the surface, you will find a completely new front page and “What’s New” page, with a different look at the top and the bottom of every page.  We also added a mobile site that allows us to look way better on a smart phone.  It allows for one-click emails and telephone calls right from it.  We also have a few new functions:  a blog, facebook link, etc.  

Our future plans for the website has two tracks:  Rose, I, and Ann Auker will work to upgrade content.  Mia also has a list of things she wants me to fix, but she seems unwilling to write it herself!  Later, we’ll rename What’s New as Sales and Specials and change all of the web driver ads with the new names and a QR code for the mobile site.  In late spring or fall, we should redesign the five overview pages and add a Twitter link.  Then, I don’t know if we will start adding new features:  Talk Back, Loyalty Program,PoolSchoolsign-ups, videos, etc; or go through all the other pages (180 of them) fixing style and adding photographs. 

►    Please park in the front of the parking lot closer to the road – the side customers usually use, or right across from it.  If people do not see your cars, they will not even pull in – they will think we are closed.  We will go back to your summer parking spots when it gets busy in late April.

►    There is a FREE ticket to the Currier Museum of Art inManchester, that is good until March 13 on the lunchroom wall.  First come, first served. 

►    We will stock the lunchroom with free copies of Bits ‘N Pieces, please take one:  First come, first served.  Here’s a sample (from a different issue) of the wisdom inside: 

        – Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

        – Imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition.  Bell Hooks

        – Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

        – For the most part, fear is nothing but an illusion.  When you share it with someone else, it tends to disappear.  Marilyn C. Barrick 

►    Internet Humor:

        – Only in America….can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

        – Only in America….are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

        – Only in America….do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

        – Only in America….do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

Feb. 182019
►     This week’s report card comes from the Smerekaniczs from New Boston.  They said that their shopping experience was excellent, mostly because Stephanie was so amazing.  They also said that the best thing we could do for our business would...
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►     The Whites from Londonderry send us some very positive feedback!  “We love shopping at Seasonal Specialty Stores – there is such a great selection!  Everyone was awesome.  Nobody did a bad job – everyone was great.  You have a...
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►     James & Jackie from Westford, MA have this to say about us:  Always professional and efficient.  Sean helped us buy a Saber grill.  Everyone was timely and polite and nobody did an unusually bad job.  We really appreciate the...