Spanning the Globe
More than 90 percent of what Design Toscano sells is exclusive. “Selling exclusives gives you strong margins,” Stopka says. “That gives you control over your pricing and discounting.”
WHAT’S THE KEY TO STOPKA’S AND THE COMPANY’S SUCCESS: Working 24/7, understanding your niche. “My analytical and system skills helped in this industry,” he notes. Design Toscano serves a niche audience, and he believes staying true to its core audience and brand has served the company well.
“Many companies veer too far from their niche; they lose what they’re good at,” Stopka says. “Some say, ‘Why not grow to $100 million in sales?’ I say, ‘You can’t. This is the size niche that we’re at.’ You can define the niche differently. If it weren’t a niche business, it would be a brick-and-mortar retail chain. But it’s not. You’re looking for niches in cataloging — and now the Internet.”
For the full interview, see the CatalogSuccess.com exclusive: A Chat with Mike Stopka.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.