Friday, May 18, 2012

Why shop local?


Shopping local is a catch phrase being bandied about lately. It deserves a bit of attention, because shopping local is important to keeping your downtown business district vibrant and viable. 
It's been argued that when you support your local businesses, 68 to 82% of each $1.00 spent gets reinvested in your community. Wow!  When chain stores get that same $1.00, the figure drops to 25 to 43% is reinvested. Quite a difference. 
The following list is from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance about why you should choose to shop local:
1. Local Character and Prosperity
2. Community Well-Being
3. Local Decision-Making
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
5. Job and Wages.
6. Entrepreneurship
7. Public Benefits and Costs
8. Environmental Sustainability
9. Competition
10. Product Diversity

Think of the impact you could make by shifting your spending habits by as little as 10% at local small businesses!
Feel free to share ways you "Shop local" and as always, contact Friends of Norwood Center with your ideas and feedback. (norwoodcenter@gmail.com) 
Thanks for reading!
Kim Weineck, Downtown Manager

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Business Blog: FNC is your downtown Merchant Association


Much has been written of the importance of Downtown Merchant Associations and that these groups have a well-focused mission statement. Here is FNC's Mission Statement:  
The Friends of Norwood Center (FNC) is a nonprofit organization working to develop, build and strengthen the downtown experience and vitality for the entire community. We strive to be a voice supported by the merchants and residents to make Norwood Center relevant and vibrant.
We're working to create a buzz about Downtown Norwood and the Friends of Norwood Center NEED YOUR MEMBERSHIP! 
Keep the forward momentum headed downtown! 


The following is edited from Christine Moynihan, Retail Visioning
“Merchant Associations” come in all shapes and sizes. I believe that whatever form they come in, they can be a great resource for every downtown, retail district AND retailer in America. When retailers come together to help improve business it is always a good thing....
As you get to work, a first good step would be to do some visioning and put a mission statement in place for your merchant association. What do I mean by “mission statement”? As defined on Wikipedia,
mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.”
This is important for many reasons, but most importantly so the merchant association does not fall into the self-limiting trap of focusing on only one initiative.... 
Your merchant association will be as valuable to you and your neighboring storefront businesses as the framework upon which it is built. Start with a bold mission statement and make your merchant association strong!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Business Blog: Job 1, Christine Moynihan


Why do you need to be so darn good?  Why do you need to be at the top of your game EVERY day? Because there is so much competition for your customer’s dollars out there!   But, you say… I am the only toy store in 5 miles… or there is no better ice cream than mine…or my fashion-forward clothing is at the best prices around.  Well, what if your customer fully knows those things… but is enticed by something else?  Everything that can take your customer’s money out of his or her pocket is competition.  Sure, they wanted to get your delicious ice cream… until they got side-tracked by a SALE on shoes.   Sure, they know your pricing for the hottest trends is best, but they suddenly realized Mother’s Day was coming up and fashion-forward went by the boards.   And that toy… well, this time it was easier to order it on line and have it shipped.   We need to stay top of mind with our customers for sure… but we also need to convert those good thoughts directly to purchases.  That is Job 1! 
A few tips:
Keep your windows and any displays that can be seen from outside your store compelling – don’t let someone walk by and “plan to come back.”  Grab their attention and get them in the door!  
When sending out email blasts or postcards, create a sense of urgency.  While they are thinking about you they need to get down to your store ASAP!
When shoppers seem distracted and “just browsing,” provide an incentive for them to get serious while they are there.  Give each of your salespeople a “make it happen fund” to use at their discretion so that they can offer a “today only special” and convert an interest to a sale. 

Info about Norwood Theater

From Kelly Glista, Norwood Patch:


Board Approves Wine and Beer License for Norwood Theater
The Norwood Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve a Wine and Malt Beverage license, a C.V. license and an Entertainment license for the Norwood Theater, set to reopen in August, after a short public hearing Tuesday night.
Susan Lewis, manager for the theater, said the ability to serve alcoholic refreshments will allow the theater to function at the level of others in the area.
"I want to be able to compare the venue with some of the performing arts centers in Boston and the surrounding area," she said.
Lewis said the service will not be available for every performance, as there may be children's shows or concerts for young adults where alcohol service is inappropriate.
Selectman Allan Howard said the license will be an excellent addition to the venue, while Selectman Helen Abdallah Donohue complimented Lewis on her dedication.
"Your enthusiasm in the project is just so intense," Donohue said.