Quoted – A good fit in the market is key for clothes sellers

Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans.
Image via Wikipedia

What odds for survival would you have given the men’s store Mortar when it opened in March?

The store sells denim jeans from $189 to $330. Shirts are $100 to $220. The designer boutique is not on Post Oak Boulevard — it is in Montrose. And while the economy is picking up, the apparel retail industry is far from booming.

But for co-owners Iris Siff and Sacha Nelson, it’s a fine time to be in retail. They have already made plans to move their less than 3-month-old store at 1844 Westheimer to a nearby space almost three times the size.

If their initial solid business is an indication, the owners found a winning formula by focusing on upscale contemporary casual attire — they don’t sell suits — for men in their 30s and 40s while offering the same level of service one finds at a high-end store selling business clothes. Most of their lines are exclusives from emerging designers.

For a concept like Mortar to work, it does not have to reach large numbers of men, but it does need to convince its targeted shopper that what it offers is unique and relevant to his lifestyle, said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia.

“If you can identify a really specific segment of the market and understand it and gain traction through word of mouth, you can explode,” Testa said. “As the saying goes, ‘There’s riches in niches.’”

For such businesses “there’s less price pressure because they’re looked upon as having things that are unique,” he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7027714.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Quoted – Target making inroads into Walmart’s base, survey finds

Wal-Mart location in Moncton
Image via Wikipedia

Everyone loves to hate Walmart, and yet the Goliath has always been the undisputed retail leader with unbeatable prices and customer base. But could that be changing?

The other area where Target is scoring is store locations, said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College.

“Walmart wants to be in the outskirts, where there’s not a huge population density,” Testa said in a phone interview. “Target is going where Walmart isn’t — more dense and urban locations.”

But Target still has a long way to go before it can surpass its towering opponent that offers eye-popping deals. For now it seems to be putting up a good fight.

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/05/05/target-making-inroads-into-walmarts-base-survey-finds/

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – Are performance reviews a waste of time? – New York Post

Urarina shaman, 1988
Image via Wikipedia

Of all the workplace rituals abhorred by employees and management alike — meetings, team-building exercises, meetings — few are as despised as the employee performance review.

Workers resent being picked apart like a frog in a high school biology class, while managers rue the time it takes away from their real jobs. Many look at employee reviews the way middle-aged folks look at their birthdays: grateful it happens only once a year.

Damn the torpedoes, many companies insist on doing them. But some experts are saying “Enough!”

Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College, agrees that “Historically, they’ve been very good in regard to evaluating and keeping workers on the right track.

“Ultimately, the reviews are not only good for the employer, but for the employees to show where they stand,” he says.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/jobs/grade_35x4nH5k3YTDlsXbcr1OiO#ixzz0lp9eTK3y

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – PBS39 pins future on new studios The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

PBS39 pins future on new studios

The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

”Diversification of revenue is a key strategy for any nonprofit,” WITF Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Pavelko said.

But Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Delaware County, said a public television station having space doesn’t guarantee it will generate revenue. The nonprofit stations are competing with for-profit studios that are veterans at renting out space to companies and nonprofits.

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-04-09/news/all-a1_4pbs.7227345apr09_1_new-studios-videos-station/2

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – The Ladies’ Turn – Wall Street Journal

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
Image via Wikipedia

The Ladies’ Turn

When it comes to house hunting, Kim Sliney is the first to admit she can be picky. The 46-year-old interior designer just couldn’t see herself living in small, chopped-up rooms. Or being happy in boxy interiors adorned with blah bathroom tiles and Formica counters. After visiting—and vetoing—37 houses, the single mom from Exeter, R.I., happened upon her just-right fit: a newly built, $350,000 home that boasted a spacious-feeling layout, killer walk-in closets and custom details like crown molding, granite countertops and a gas fireplace—for no extra charge. How did she stumble into this particular development? She was driving around in the area and saw a woman-centric sign on the entrance. “It was very intriguing,” says Ms. Sliney.

Men may think they run the world, but it’s women who are now getting the royal treatment from the housing industry. Indeed, say housing market watchers, builders are now strenuously working to win the hearts—and checkbooks—of female buyers. And with the economy punishing the sexes unevenly, single women have become an especially important force to be reckoned with in real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, they now sign on the dotted line in nearly a quarter of all U.S. home deals—up from 14% in 1995.

And home hassles aside, skeptics say some of the marketing flurry around women is half-baked. Part of the problem, says Scott Testa, a marketing professor at Cabrini College, is that the real estate industry has been a late adopter of modern marketing techniques. Its fairly recent desire to learn what customers want simply leads to better design—like kitchens opening up into family rooms—which isn’t necessarily woman-centric. “More people like open design,” Mr. Testa says. “Whether that’s a woman preference, I don’t know that as a fact.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304871704575160112777930360.html?mod=WSJ_Commercial_sections_BuyingAndSelling

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]