In episode 103 of Total Retail Talks, recorded at the Total Retail Talks Live! event in Seattle, Natalie Brown, director, experiential marketing, Sur La Table, talks about the kitchenware retailer's goal of being more than just a place where consumers can get products for their kitchens. Sur La Table seeks to be a source of…
Sur La Table
When it comes to retailing in the digital era, technology is often hyped as the key to knowing the long unknowable, a means to reveal deeper truths about what shoppers want and how they want marketers to deliver it to them. Indeed, the party line on insights to be gained from big data — information gleaned from shoppers’ online and mobile purchasing patterns and activity on social media sites — would, in theory, nullify that iconic quote from department store inventor John Wanamaker: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don't know which half."
New York City -- Sur La Table has been acquired by Investcorp, a global asset management firm. The Seattle-based retailer, which specializes in kitchen goods, operates 86 stores nationwide. Investcorp acquired Sur La Table from the Behnke family and investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co., who will both remain as investors in the kitchen goods retailer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. No management changes are expected. "We believe that Sur La Table is well positioned in its existing markets and has multiple opportunities for growth including new store expansion and e-commerce." said Kevin Nickelberry, a managing director
The sluggish economy may be causing people to cut back in most areas of their life, but the kitchen isn't one of them. Seattle-based Sur La Table, a growing kitchenware chain that got its start nearly 40 years ago in Pike Place Market, has been bought by global investment bank Investcorp — a sign that it sees more growth ahead.
Cooking retailer Sur La Table said it will open a flagship store in New York City's Hearst Tower in late 2011. The new store will include Sur La Table’s largest kitchen and cooking class program. Consumers will be able to take cooking classes, as well as attend events with media partners and renowned chefs from around the world. Cooking classes are currently slated to start in early December.
Social networking is certainly the rage today, but I'm advancing the theory that most direct marketers don't use it to its fullest capacity. A few weeks ago, I spent about four hours looking at Facebook sites for my favorite retailers, catalogers and online merchants. Many were good at initiating conversations and trying to build brand loyalty. Very few, however, followed the basic tenets of direct marketing by using that communication to either build their databases or encourage purchasing. Social networks are places to build community. But that can go hand in hand with marketing and selling.
There's a battle raging for the control of e-commerce. On one side are retailers looking to increase market share, accelerate revenue, grow brand affinity and increase customer lifetime value. On the other side are consumers who want to be empowered, increase connectedness, find relevant products, receive feedback from peers, and have interactive and entertaining experiences online.
Sur La Table 163,680 56,295 191 $85 cookware Mokrynskidirect 12/06 9/05 Dog.com 139,829 51,031 174 $115 pet supplies List Locators 9/06 5/05 & Managers Knit Picks 73,502 27,347 169 $60 crafts Walter Karl 6/06 6/05 Cutter & Buck 70,938 30,555 132 $147 men’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 1/06 Kinsman Co. 27,090 12,695 113 $83 gardening supplies D-J Associates 12/06 9/05 Fannie May Confections 72,173 34,794 107 $36 candy, chocolates Millard Group 11/06 10/05 Leichtung Workshops 20,312 9,958 104 $52 woodworking tools Names & 9/06 7/05 Addresses Orion Telescopes 33,445 16,849 99 $175 telescopes Millard Group and Binoculars 7/06 7/05 Time for Me 141,411 71,958 97 $95 women’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 10/05 Siegel Display Products 33,569 17,474 92 $300 promotional display products Direct Media 10/06 10/05 Smith & Hawken 140,722 74,971 88 $125 gardening supplies Belardi/Ostroy ALC 11/06 10/05 Redding Medical 13,689 7,642 79 $95 nursing supplies Fasano and 12/06 8/05 Associates Penn Herb Co. Ltd. 26,459 14,837 78 $54 natural remedies Walter Karl 4/06 5/05 MidWest Edwin Watts Golf 328,416 185,448 77 $250 golf equipment Venture Direct 8/06 5/05 Worldwide Staples 3,843,101 2,183,681 76 $250 office products Direct Media 12/06 11/05 Sporty’s Men’s Collection 12,926 7,368 75.4 N/A men’s recreational products Millard Group 1/07 5/05 New England Business 1,114,626 636,766 75 $120 office products MeritDirect Service (NEBS) 12/06 9/05
Brides and catalogers turn to online registries National retail chains used to dominate the wedding gift registry market. Now the Web is cutting catalogers a bigger piece of the $35 billion wedding cake as online gift registries make registering and shopping for gifts easier for far-flung guests. Renowned gift catalogs, including Ross-Simons and Macys.com, have already put their popular real-world registries online. Now Web gift registry networks are making cross-catalog registrations possible so that a bride and groom with eclectic tastes can register for everything from fine china to outdoor recreation gear. These registries include Della & James (www.dellajames.com), which was