Is your sales pitch targeting the right person?
ExOfficio's Steve Bendzak gave a stellar presentation at The Travel Goods Show on the woman-centric sales approach. Why does this matter? Consider this: The most-recent Pew Research Center survey on the subject showed women make the buying decisions in 30 percent of households, and 46 percent of couples share decision-making responsibility. This means women figure in 76 percent of household purchasing decisions. That's a startling statistic, and one that's worth keeping in mind when designing in-store features, advertising and window displays. You can see the full Pew Research survey here. And look for Kathy Witt's article on Bendzak's talking points in the next issue of Travel Goods Showcase, which hits your mailbox shortly. More
Are you certifiable? Travel Goods Specialist Certificates help you sell.
Earning a Travel Goods Specialist Certificate is a competitive advantage. Certified Travel Goods Specialists know how to assess customer needs and apply that knowledge to zero-in on travel items that resonate with customers. It's a sales advantage you can't afford to pass up. New product info, streamlined content and revised security regulations are part of what makes the new and improved TGSCP 2.0 the fastest way to get your sales force up-to-speed and up-to-date. Get certified and help add real value to your customers' shopping experience. Register today and join the growing list of Travel Goods Specialists, people with a true sales advantage. More
China — Rhetoric heats up at Senate hearing
At a Senate Banking Committee subcommittee hearing on China's Exchange Rate Policies and Trade Imbalances on April 22, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., testified that the Chinese economy was too large to be allowed to cheat U.S. manufacturers and workers through an undervalued currency. Senator Graham further testified that a small currency appreciation by China that was tied directly to political pressure by the U.S. Congress would not be enough this time around because when political pressure from the U.S. Congress lets up, any appreciation of the Chinese currency also is stopped. More
TGA to Congress — Credit card interchange fees should be part of financial reform
TGA joined with 54 other major trade associations representing a large swath of the U.S. business community in sending letters on April 22 to every U.S. Senator urging them to address credit card interchange fees as part of the financial regulatory reform legislation currently moving through Congress. In those letters, TGA and others argued that, unless relief is granted, hidden interchange "swipe fees," which amounted to $48 billion in 2008, will continue to rise as credit card companies and their largest issuing banks seek even higher profits on the backs of retailers. This comes at a time when TGA retailers — all of whom pay interchange fees — are struggling to help the economy grow again and at a time when consumers can least afford price increases. More
Retail relationships: Tweens influencing more than just products
Retail's BIG Blog Share
Jayne O'Donnell shared the anecdote that Cosmo Girl Magazine asked girls aged 13-24 if they considered a store a friend and 60 percent said yes. In an age where brands have interactive websites, built-in personal shoppers and notable personalities, why can't a retail store be viewed as a close, personal friend? If the Cosmo answer surprises you, it may have something to do with the age of the consumer. More
Israeli airport security specialist — full body scanners are a waste of money
For years, supporters of strict airport security have pointed to the effective systems in place in Israel, and claimed that those systems would finally make the TSA a more effective organization. Unfortunately for the government, one of the men that helped design the security programs at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport has spoken out against the implementation of full body imaging machines. More
Hertz gets bigger — will rental rates too?
Renting a car has been a costly proposition in recent months, and Monday's news that industry giant Hertz is planning to buy Dollar Thrifty may have travelers wondering whether deals will be even harder to find. Not likely, say industry analysts, who predict car rental rates will stay high for reasons unrelated to the deal. More
Airlines: First it was the baggage fees. What's next? Pay toilets?
The Christian Science Monitor Share
With the busy summer travel season just ahead, airline passengers are asking: Where will the surcharges end? Most airlines now charge for checked luggage, which once was transported for free. Some now ask $8 for a tiny pillow and a thin blanket that barely covers your knees. Meals in economy class are mostly a distant memory. Are airlines planning additional surcharges, or might passengers revolt against more and more fees? More
Building a brand on a budget
Regardless of how the message is articulated and distributed, the core mission of branding remains the same: communicating to customers who you are, what you do and how you do it. The Web is the simplest, most direct channel to convey that information. More
The mobile Web is finally here: Are you ready?
Search Engine Land Share
At the recent Shop.org Mobile Marketing Summit, firms like comScore reported Web-enabled smartphones now make up 20 percent of the 3 billion mobile devices worldwide, with market share blazing towards 50 percent over the next 3-5 years. Coupled with similar growth rates in both 3G device adoption, and in unlimited data plan subscribers, they believe the mobile web market has finally reached a tipping point. Is your website ready for mobile? More
Prosumers forsake hedonism for Volun-tourism
Sensing a shift in desires among consumers, resorts such as Miraval and high-end hotels like the Ritz-Carlton are touting activities that appeal to guests who seek meaningful life experiences while vacationing or traveling for business. Miraval, for example, offers personal challenge or "clue-in" programs such as learning how to care for a horse, while Ritz-Carlton puts individuals or corporate groups to work on local community service and nature projects. More