New Jersey retailer goes hyper-local to drive bricks-and-mortar sales

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Peter Weedfald, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales shares details on SEMCA’s RADIUS initiative to drive in-store sales.

Can bricks-and-mortar stores survive — even thrive — in a world that seems to be embracing all things online and digital? The key lies in local marketing, and to see it in action, look no further than Lawrence Township, N.J., a small community just outside the state capital of Trenton. That’s where Debbie Schaeffer and Peter Weedfald have applied new-school marketing and sales tactics to old-school relationship-building techniques.

Schaeffer is the third-generation owner of Mrs. G TV and Appliances, a full-service dealer of middle- and high-end domestic kitchen equipment and televisions; the retailer primarily sells to the public but also works extensively with contractors and kitchen designers. Weedfald is senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sharp Home Appliances. The two joined forces in Sharp’s Radius initiative, an innovative way to build and maintain a local trading area.

By failing to properly deploy their assets, Weedfald says, “Many retailers today are in the sales avoidance business.” Radius’s effectiveness stems from creatively leveraging all available resources for maximum impact in a way that exploits the inherent weaknesses of the online world.

Weedfald says many retailers separate the most essential assets of their organizations, preventing them from complementing each other: The website resides in cyberspace, the customer relationship management staff is a corporate office and team members who are responsible for promoting product are kept inside the store — not engaging with the community.



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