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Articles by Alixe McRae
Alixe MacRaeA regular contributor to Home Goods Online, Alixe MacRae is one of this country's best known merchandisers. She most recently served as assistant general manager for Stoney Creek Furniture. Based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, SCF is recognized as one of Canada's best recognized destination furniture stores. Prior to joining SCF, MacRae held senior merchandising posts at both The Bay and Sears Canada and was a long-time member of the Canadian Home Furnishings Awards jury.

Girls = Profit
ImageA few weeks ago, the Globe & Mail reported Lego AS sales had soared 13% in the first six months of 2013, an almost outlandish uptick in this economy. The company attributed the increased to a new Lego Friends series of building blocks designed for girls. There’s an important lesson in that for the independent furniture and mattress retailer: start targeting girls as important source of revenue and profits.
Learning from Dollarama
ImageHave you read the Globe & Mail's recent report on the Top 1,000 companies in Canada? It was published in their authoritative Report on Business. If you haven't, you should.
Why good-better-best is so effective
ImagePricing has always been a tough nut to crack. Over the past decade or so, furniture retailers have seen almost mind-blowing changes to how the product on the floor is priced. For example, who would have predicted leather upholstery's fall into commodity price points? Telling a buyer in 1998 or even 2000 that a three-seat leather sofa would be advertised at $299 in 2013 would have generated a snort of disgust.
How might we?
Image"How Might We' is a phrase coined by Warren Berger, a blogger the Harvard Business Review who claims these are the three words most commonly used by successful entrepreneurs. In a post to the HBR web site last September, he said: "Some of the most successful companies in business today are known for tackling difficult creative challenges by first asking, How might we improve X ... or completely re-imagine Y... or find a new way to accomplish Z?"
Silver hair, golden wallets

ImageMany people, especially independent retailers of my acquaintance tend to think of older people as not being the customers that spend money. If that's your view, you could be very, very wrong.

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