On Bauer Business Focus – Doug Baumann spoke to KUHF Business reporter Ed Mayberry about how Houston area retailers are playing this Christmas season and what consumers can learn from it.
As a retail management consultant for the University of Houston Hurricane Business Recovery Center (HBRC) Baumann has a different viewpoint than most. He advises small business owners on how to compete in a retail market that’s still not as big as it was before Hurricane Ike and the recession both hit in 2008.
“Galveston lost a lot of retail traffic,” he said. “Even the retailers who it made it through the storm have lost a lot of customers. We can’t help them with their customer base but we can help them with their marketing.”
Baumann, who was in retail for 25 years, before Ike, said retailers need to be focused on the basics: carefully managing inventories, featuring the items that are top sellers and getting the best out of seasonal workers.
Training and motivating part timers is crucial, because as Bauman pointed out: “People will spend more if they feel good about the atmosphere.”
And for those who want to spend less, there are rewards, and risks to waiting until the last minute: “You will probably get better deals and you get closer to Christmas, but the assortment is less.”
Click here for the full interview.