There are two things you can count on with AEE 2007: One is that Las Vegas is last bastion of the faux-hawk (the men’s haircut that tells the world, “I’m only one Xanax away from engaging a sexual act I wouldn’t normally perform with another guy”) and the second is that if you can tear yourself away from the action on the main floor, there’s sure to be a seminar that might teach you something.
One such learning opportunity came with today’s Back To Basics—Retailing 101 session. In capsule form, this was an opportunity for neophytes to the world of adult retailing, both online and brick-and-mortar, to learn some of the fundamentals from some well-informed, vastly experienced veterans.
Moderated by Frank Lucca from idea, the first panelist on deck was Jim Loperfido from Emerald City Video. Telling the crowd that he was an accountant, he stressed the importance of “numbers.” Given that “numbers” are the essential building blocks of any type of business, Loperfido’s lines were well received.
Next up was Greg Kramer from Video USA Entertainment, who compared shelf space to “real estate” and stressed the importance of “moving product” in a constant flow. Kramer also emphasized the importance of getting “out there” and meeting your suppliers and even the production companies that are supplying your product. This was greeted by nods of approval from the crowd.
Kim Sedergan of IVD offered 17 years of experience in one sentence: “You need a store filled with products that people want.” Sedergan also stressed that a company like IVD has representatives who are intimately acquainted with their clients’ needs and demographic.
Next on the podium was Tom Berger of the Fairvilla Megastore chain. If you’ve ever wondered what the hell that name was supposed to mean, Berger cleared thing up in the seminar. “The name doesn’t mean anything,” said Berger. The benefit of this strategy is that a store’s name doesn’t have any negative implications. Berger’s self-described “big-box” stores also emphasize “fun.” As Berger clarified, “Some of our stores will have the ceilings covered with kites.” Berger also emphasized the importance of his stores being in residential and tourist areas. “Couples tend to spend more money,” he observed.
Sid Grief of AAA News echoed Berger’s idea of the importance of location. “Location, location, location,” said Grief. “It’s an old saw, but it’s true. A good location might mean higher rent, but the increased traffic from a good location pays for itself,” he said.
The audience got involved when the floor was opened to questions, and, as they say, class was in session.