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Jan. 252014

January 25, 2014

►    A Seasonal Specialty Stores Report Card was received anonymously.  They stated that their general shopping experience was excellent, and Seth did an unusually good job. “He was able to research and find a fabric that matched our original set.” As far as any of our team members doing an unusually bad job, they replied “No”.  Our sales help, operations people, communication, and products were all rated excellent.  They would definitely recommend us to a friend.  The thing we do really well is “selection.”

►    Advertising changes Sunday 1/26: Entertain at Home. Sign out front changes. Weekly specials and Department Promotions continue from last week.

►    Marquis just discontinued Ice Blue, and is replacing Taupe Granite with a similar color – Sierra. We have updated the Special Order Pages.

►    I am on a drive to put the factory weight limits for all steps and ladders on price tags. (Am I the only person who is asked this by customers?) .  It is now on every custom ladder tag.

►    The country is experiencing sharp increases in the costs of fine wood. Olhausen has just raised their prices on antique-style tables by $150, and modern-style tables by $300.  There is a note to that effect next to the Design Center Computer that you use to quote custom tables.  Eventually we hope to finally get new software from Olhausen so that we can quote the new prices. They say there will be a completely re-designed program by May, so assume October.  In the meantime, add $150 or $300.

►    We just received the actual cost of the new Master Temp 125 heater.  It is much lower than we expected – which means it is not the same as the other Master Temp heaters in quality. We have revised the “Complete Pool Package” to lower the package price from $1799 to $1079.

►    Submitted by Stephanie: We have “years of service” pins for your years here! We have every year from 3 to 10. I will be giving out pins in the next week if you are eligible for one.  These pins, through the years, should be traded in when you are going to receive a new one such as a new year’s amount.  These pins should be part of your uniform, just as your nametag is, and worn whenever you are in the store for your customers to see. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask me.

►    Everything that comes into the warehouse gets a receiving, and that goes into the manager’s box. That means literature, signs, etc. too.  Please save the rest of us time. Write on the receiving where you put the literature or signs. We waste a lot of time trying to find out where something is, or reordering things we already have. Next, the manager gives the original receiving or a copy to the buyer. Again, that includes literature. So, everything is handled the same: filters and pictures of filters.

►    Preliminary numbers for 2013 are now done. Final numbers will not be finished until probably mid-March. We will end with sales up 4.4%, but gross profits up only 2.4% – due primarily to lower profits in order to meet internet competition, and also Reward$ rebates.

Net profits will probably be about the same as last year. We saved a lot of money on advertising, but we still spent more money on payroll.  Our current plan is to keep a few thousand dollars in the company just so we look like we actually made money instead of losing money. Jeanne and I will again not take an owner’s bonus, and all of the rest of the profit will go into your profit sharing. For those of you who qualify by the IRS regulations, that should be pretty much the same as you received last year; or 3 or 4 times what I guessed you would get last October.

As usual, final numbers will be ready by early April. The way it works now, is that nothing can get better after December 31 – no more money is going to come in; however, bills can still come in for things purchased before December 31st. Your accounts will probably be funded once we pay off the Early Buy invoices in June.

►    Laughter, the Best Medicine from the Reader’s Digest: A millionaire, a hard hat, and a cheapskate are at the bar. When they get their beers, they notice a fly in each mug. The millionaire politely asks the bartender for another beer, then sips the new one. The hard hat spills out just enough to get rid of the fly and quaffs the rest. It’s now the cheapskate’s turn: He sticks his hand into the beer, grabs the fly by the wings, and shouts, “Spit it out! Spit it out!”

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...
Feb. 112019
►     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...
Feb. 22019
►     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...