Dorothy Lane Market CEO Norman Mayne led a session at the Show & Sell Center Sunday on “Small Business Survival.” Here are three ways the retailer separates itself in a competitive market:
1. Calls customers to ask how Dorothy Lane is doing
Mayne said Dorothy Lane calls 75 customers a week to ask how their shopping trip went. These customers are entered into a database so they don’t receive calls too frequently. Mayne said he got the idea from his dentist, who calls patients at home after visits.
Dorothy Lane also has a consumer affairs panel, whose members serve for three years and meet every three months to talk about what the retailer can do better.
2. Put up a sign with the names of restaurants that shop at the store
The restaurateurs like seeing their names, plus it gives the store some credibility if customers know professionals shop there, Mayne said.
3. Sells items customers can’t find anywhere else
As an independent business, Mayne said it was important to support other independent businesses. Mayne said his company has relationships with cheesemakers, farmers and fisherman who sell exclusively to Dorothy Lane.
The retailer has also built off the success of its trademarked Killer Brownies, which are now sold online and at retailers throughout the U.S. Dorothy Lane tries to apply the “killer” marketing strategy throughout the store. “In every aisle we want items and products that you can’t get any place else,” said Mayne.
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