Seminar: Learn to coexist with retail giants

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 18, 2005

What is the impact of so-called “big box” stores and what cansmaller retail outlets do to compete?

Questions such as these will be the theme during the upcoming”Retail Survival Seminar, Competing With Big Box Stores,” sponsoredby The DAILY LEADER.

“This seminar is for those concerned about the impact of competingwith a giant,” DAILY LEADER General Manager John Lowman said,referring to stores such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.

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The seminar, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday 24 at the State Room,will focus on how big box stores operate, their impact on otherbusinesses and what businesses can do to co-exist, said Dr. KennethE. Stone, professor emeritus of economics at Iowa State Universityand the seminar speaker.

“I’m going to talk about getting back to the basics,” said Stone.”I’ll also talk about customer relations and how you treatcustomers.”

Stone has conducted numerous studies in Iowa, Texas and Mississippion big box merchants. Participants who attend the seminar canexpect to learn which types of stores will be impacted – bothpositively and negatively.

Stone has made more than 1,000 presentations in 49 states andCanada, and his work has been quoted in numerous magazines. He’sbeen featured on public television many network news outlets. He isalso author of the book “Competing with the Retail Giants.”

Stone most recently appeared in a CNBC documentary on Wal-Mart.

Stone said the two- to three-hour seminar will be broken down intothree parts.

Part one will deal with how the large merchants operate. Part twowill be the impact these businesses have on existing businesses,based on studies he has conducted. The final segment will tellfocus on strategies, marketing and advertising.

“In general, I’m going to talk about demographics and aboutadopting techniques to remain competitive,” Stone said.

One such technique Stone suggested was operating a business as ateam and holding regular meetings with employees to keep them fullyinvolved with what’s going on in the business.

Stone will use a visual presentation, anecdotes and true stories toillustrate his points.

“Seating is limited to 100 people,” said Lowman, who also saidabout 50 people have already signed up to attend.

Lowman, who heard Stone speak in the early 1990s, said Stone givesa good seminar about co-existing with big box merchants.

Those who feel they will be affected by big box-type companiesshould plan to attend the free seminar, Lowman said.

To register for the seminar, contact lowman at (601) 833-6961, ext.153.