It’s time to get fat, Marrache says in latest Business Cents
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Retailers seriously looking for strategies to thrive in the post-pandemic, when it comes, should remember and imitate the ants in Aesop’s ancient fable. Or, as Albert Marrache, puts it in the latest episode of Business Cents on HGO.tv, “It’s time to get fat!”
In conversation with Michael Knell, publisher of Home Goods Online, Marrache also urges retailers to raise their prices by at least 5% with a commitment to set aside the proceeds to ease the way when the leaner times inevitably arrive.
“There are so many changes that we have gone through in recent months,” Marrache, the president and co-founder of Phoenix AMD International, says adding the current state of furniture, mattress and appliance retailing has almost a surreal quality.
As a specialist in added-value products and services – mattress protectors, detergent, service plans, etc. – he accepts retailers don’t always see them as a critical part of their overall sales strategy. “When things are going well, these are the types of products they want to forget about because they’re making profit,” he says, “but when times are tough, these are the types of products they want to add because they need to make a profit.”
“I believe in Aesop’s fable – the tale of the ants and the grasshopper,” he continues, noting he fears many people throughout the industry are behaving more like the grasshopper – enjoying their day in the sun – than the ants, who are working hard to store food for winter.
“For me, this is the same thing,” Marrache says. “When times are good, you should be making the most profit possible – this is when you build your reserves.”
It’s also the reason why he recommends retailers raise their prices by at least 5%. It’s also the time focus on complementary sales, whether its pillows or lamps or mattress protectors or service plans. “Boost your complementary sales – take the extra profit,” Marrache says.
He also maintains now is the time for the independent retailer to take a critical look at his or her web site and make the needed upgrades and improvements.
"Web sites are scary,” Marrache says. “You have to maintain them – especially when it comes to product categories such as appliances and furniture because when a customer lands on your web site, the first thing she’s going to decide is whether she wants to shop in your store.”