February 20, 2016

►    Advertising, specials and promotions continue from last week:  “Look At The Big Picture”

►    Customer Feedback:  Customer Ron B., from Nashua, NH stated that his general shopping experience with us was Excellent.  “Informative, convenient layaway, and competitive prices.”  Did any of our team members do an unusually good job?  “Everyone was friendly and helpful.”  Sales help, operations, communication, and product performance were all rated Excellent.  “We over bought for our space and returned one item.  Manager was very polite.”  He would recommend us to a friend.  “Definitely, we love the furniture.”  What can we do to improve?  “Keep up the good work.  Service with a smile!”  What do we do really well?  “Nice selection of quality merchandise.”

►    The new Above Ground Pool Price List is out.  Prices and pools remained the same, except that the Contempra is discontinued.  Wilbar stopped making it because no one sold any in 2015.  They actually had to take back pools.

Other changes:

  1. The name of the Blues changed to Tamara. The pool didn’t change, the name did. Blues was a mistake, based on a mistake in literature.
  2. Wall color of the Orion changed from Orion to Mission, so the pool name changed to Mission.
  3. All Sharkline Premium warranties improved, but only for about six stores in the United States. We are one of them. Sharkline Economy also improved. We can now call all of them Lifetime Warranties. Sharkline Economy is now one year at 100% discount, and lifetime at 25%. Sharkline Premium is now 8 years at 100% discount and Lifetime at 50% discount. That is WAY better than the pro-rated warranty. We are increasing the 8 year portion to 10 years at 100%. We may be the only store doing that.

  These new warranties are only valid when purchased through an Authorized Warranty Center and the warranty claim is placed through an Authorized Warranty Center. Otherwise, the warranty is less than ½ of this. I will teach a class on this at some point. The first two stores to know about the new program are us, and Steve Cohen’s uncle’s stores on Long Island. So the changes will probably not be known right away. In the long run, it improves our position dramatically, especially against the internet.

►    From Anne-Marie: The jackpot items have been renamed and streamlined. Also a new item (#1000) has been added for “Cash Discount. If you have any questions or think something may be missing, please let me know.

►    We are re-arranging some management responsibilities. There are actually quite a few changes. Mia and Stephanie are remaining Assistant Managers. In addition, here are a few of the most obvious:

  • Mia is becoming Sales Manager, and will be based out of the Design Center much more than Stephanie was. She is also controlling much of our floor arrangement outside of the Pool Department.
  • Stephanie will be spending more time in the Pool Department; becoming Water Lab Manager, Training Coordinator, and Pool School Coordinator. Plus she is taking on some of Patrick’s office work.
  • Patrick will be spending more time in the Parts Department.
  • Kristine has left Tod’s Pool Service, so that she can spend more time in the pool store when it is the most busy.

►    Ideas Needed! What should I put in the April Newsletter? I have to finish writing it by March 4th in order to be printed in time.

►    News of the Weird from the Hippo:

Weird Science. The most promising current concussion-prevention research comes from a study of … woodpeckers (according to a December Business Week report). Scientists hypothesize that the birds’ apparent immunity from the dangers of constant head-slamming is because their neck veins naturally compress, forcing more blood into their craniums, thus limiting the dangerous “jiggle room” in which brains bang against the skull. A team lead by a real-life doctor portrayed in the movie “Concussion” is working on a neck collar to slightly pinch the human jugular vein to create a similar effect.

►    That’s Outrageous! from the Reader’s Digest, You Know You’re a Lousy Criminal When: …You forget to type out your heist note. A bank robber in Hillsboro, Oregon, handed a bank teller a note that read, “Need $300 or I’ll kill you. I’m serious.” At least, that’s what it was intended to say – but the teller couldn’t read the bank robber’s handwriting. So the robber stepped aside to rewrite the note on a bank slip, giving the teller time to activate the silent alarm.