In a world of cynics it’s easy to focus purely on what needs fixing or what’s just plain silly. Yet no doubt you agree that it can be refreshing and heartening to concentrate on the positive things one sees in daily life. Here are a few I encountered in the past few weeks:
Gift cards for various merchants sold in supermarkets. A display at my local Super Fresh included gift cards for companies such as Bed Bath & Beyond and The Home Depot. Talk about convenient holiday gift shopping for consumers and an added distribution channel for merchants. To whomever thought of that idea, I say: “Bravo!”
Free shipping deals everywhere. I know they can be loss-leaders and so should be offered judiciously. But I also know that direct marketers have hit on a take-it-to-the-bank idea when I go to the hair salon, and everyone there is raving about all the free-shipping deals available. “Why go to the mall?” one wide-eyed woman (who doesn’t know what I do for a living) asked me.
The U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) new Catalog Request Card Service. Part of the MoversGuide Online program, consumers can choose to get catalogs forwarded to their new homes. The USPS says the response rate has been about 25 percent, and that consumers are choosing to get an average of six retail catalogs delivered to their new addresses. Moreover, new movers are selecting an additional four catalogs, on average, that they don’t currently get. As of early December, 25 retailers were participating in the program, including Coldwater Creek, Lands’ End, Plow & Hearth, Pottery Barn, and Smith + Noble. I think this is a terrific idea from our postal service.
The National Retail Federation’s new Retail Loss Prevention Intelligence Network. It’s a Web-based database that allows law enforcement professionals and retailers to share information about organized retail theft. (Maybe direct marketers should emulate this program.)