Anonymous Distributor

I hope you’ve been appreciating this wonderful spring and summer we’re having. Spring came early this year and appears to be sticking around, unlike 2011 when spring arrived early in March for a large part of the country and then immediately disappeared until May. This nice warm weather is apparently influencing consumers to spend more time and money on their yards. Demand for equipment is strong, as is service, parts and accessory sales. Many OEMs cannot keep up with unit demand. Let’s all enjoy it while we can!


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Have you heard about “showrooming?” If you haven’t, you better get ready for it because it’s coming your way very soon. And I suspect you’re not going to like it when it walks in your front door.


An April 11 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article about “showrooming” explained what the term means. “‘Showrooming’ is when a shopper walks into a ‘bricks and mortar’ store (it could be your store) to scope out merchandise and then ends up buying the products they have seen in the store from a rival’s website at a lower price. ‘Showrooming’ hurts the bottom lines of traditional stores while benefitting online-only retailers such as Amazon.com which have the advantage of lower overhead costs and mostly can skirt the collection of sales taxes while often allowing customers to avoid shipping fees. In a recent survey conducted by ClickIQ Inc., ‘half of shoppers who buy products online first checked them out in a traditional store.’”


What are savvy retailers doing to fight “showrooming?” The WSJ article had these answers: “Target pushed its suppliers to offer it exclusive products not found at competitors. Wal-Mart is emphasizing in-store pickups for online orders, many available the same day they are purchased — allowing customers to avoid shipping fees.


“Some retailers are trying apps to drive shoppers to both their stores and websites, allowing them to create shopping lists or receive daily-deal alerts and exclusive discount coupons on their phones. Some experts think such targeted discounts, along with loyalty rewards programs, may make higher shelf prices less problematic for retailers.”


While there will be winners and losers amongst the big retailers, so far, the OPE industry has shown that consumers will still strongly support local dealers and retailers who offer a personal, positive sales and service experience and a strong appreciation for their loyal customers.


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Is it true that cannibals don’t eat comedians because they taste funny?


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Harvey Mackay recently told the following 100-year-old story regarding the creator of Sherlock Holmes, illustrating the importance of noticing little things and knowing your audience.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was quite impressed with the observational powers of a cab driver who picked him up at the train station after a vacation in the south of France. As he stepped into the cab and put his suitcase on the seat next to him, the driver surprised him by asking him, “Where would you like to go, Mr. Doyle?”


Doyle was surprised that he knew his name, and asked whether they had ever met before. The driver said no, which prompted Doyle to ask how he knew who he was.


The driver replied, “This morning’s paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand where people who return from Marseilles always come to.


Your skin color tells me that you have been on vacation. The ink spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, and not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduce that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


That and your name is on your suitcase.


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This coming Sunday afternoon, pick yourself up out of the chair in front of your TV and take your family or some friends or just yourself for a drive through the countryside. Take time to inhale the fresh air and see how farmer’s crops are coming along. Stop by a river or stream and just stare at the water for a while. Try to notice and see things all around you that you normally don’t see or look at. Now head for home and take that nap you just earned. You’ll feel refreshed and good about yourself. And Monday will be just another great day.


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Contact the Anonymous Distributor at anonymous.distributor@gmail.com or read his blog at www.anonymousdistributor.blogspot.com.

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