What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff?


by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender Speaking!, CHA 2013 Retailing Experts

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff? Join us at 1:00 PM EST on April 3, 2013 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™” and find out!

Here’s the deal: Today’s customers are busy, and maybe just a little bit bored with the “same old, same old” they find in too many stores. This makes your job tougher because these consumers expect more than ever before.

We’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of retailers today: Commodity Retailers who make no effort to do much more than they are supposed to do: open for business and hope for the best. Commodity retail associates are there just to collect a paycheck. There’s no customer buzz about town and no fizz on the sales floor, merely shelves full of stuff.

And then there are Charisma Retailers™ who thrive on creating a unique in-store experience that customers just can’t get anywhere else. Charisma retail associates share the same values as the store’s owner: they are there to serve and delight customers.

Any retailer, regardless of what they sell, can be a Commodity Retailer or a Charisma Retailer™; it’s a choice that’s yours to make. Charisma Retailers™ thrive on reinvention. They understand how to live in the present while keeping an eye on the future. They know that the special things they do for customers today, will be the expected things of tomorrow, so they are always on the lookout for new ideas.

We hope you’ll join us on April 1 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™. We’ll share ideas and inspirations, and we’ll take your questions to help you unleash your inner charisma!

And afterwards, we hope you’ll take time sit down in a quiet room with a notebook and pencil. Let your mind wander, imagining what your store will be like a year from now. Who will be your customers and what will they demand of you?  What aren’t you doing today that you need to in order to meet future challenges? Keep this notebook handy and do this exercise for fifteen minutes each week.

In time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the ideas begin to flow, multiply and become reality.  Before long, the retail status quo won’t be good enough for you – you’ll have crossed over from commodity retailing into the rare air Charisma Retailers™ breathe every single day.

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

In 2010 KIZER & BENDER made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers; they’ve also been named “Two of Retailing’s Most Influential People.” And with good reason: Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer. Visit their website for more information: http://www.kizerandbender.com.

The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™

Date: April 3, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST

Click Here to Register

CHA Celebrates Innovation at the 2013 Winter Show


The CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show drew 3336 buyers and 928 networkers, totaling  4264 attendees; of which 790 were international, joining us from 56 countries including Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany.

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While the temperature was down, the energy was up. Despite the unusual California weather being as low as some 30 degrees, exhibitors and attendees were all in good spirits yielding positive results. For some, this Show was the most successful it’s been in years.

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“We’ve been exhibiting at the Winter Show for the entire life of our company – seven years that is – and 2013 was our best Show ever! Our booth was busy literally the whole time. We’ve always seen the Show as – primarily – a way to build brand awareness and network with distribution partners. But this year we worked with a lot of independent retailers and wrote a lot of orders. We did more international business than ever before, picking up new distributors and retailers in Australia, South America, Europe, and Far East.” Sara Davies – Sales Director, Crafters Companion

“This year’s CHA Show was the best in years for us. Not only was it a great forum to see many of our current customers in one place, but it also presented an opportunity to meet new buyers from the international community.”  Ryan Newell – President, Spinrite LP.

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“The CHA Conference & Trade Show is the only event on the planet where we can greet hundreds of customers in three days. We cannot imagine choosing not to be there. The 2013 CHA Winter show was our best show ever; the quantity of customers, the quantity of leads and the sales dollars written were all record numbers. The CHA Winter Show was a great start for a new year!” Bobbie Medema – Marketing Director, Notions Marketing

Another key contributing factor to the positive momentum was the launch of the CRE8TIME industry consumer awareness campaign and the new CRE8TIME.org website.  CRE8TIME is a movement funded by the CHA Foundation, designed to encourage creativity by getting participants to pledge 8 hours per month to doing something creative. CRE8TIME.org serves as the hub of the CRE8TIME social movement. It is a community where “CRE8ERS” share their crafts, pledge their hours, get inspired, stay informed and learn how to reclaim 8 hours a month.

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“The positive energy from both exhibitors and attendees is very encouraging and speaks volumes to the vibrancy and momentum building for the industry. We look forward to carrying that excitement forward with all the new programs we are launching in 2013.” Andrej SuskavcevicCAE, President and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association.

Every year CHA gives out awards to select exhibitors for outstanding work in product innovation.  Those receiving awards for their products include: Innovative Product Award – Katy Sue Designs/Flower SoftSilicone Molds (www.katysuedesigns.com); Attendee Choice Award – Spellbinders Paper ArtsImperial Gold (www.spellbinderscreativearts.com); and two Honorable Mention Innovative Product Awards – June TailorT-shirt Transformation Ruler Center (www.junetailor.com) and We R Memory KeepersEnvelope Punch Board (http://www.weronthenet.com).

CHA accepts nominations annually from members throughout the industry with the purpose of identifying individuals and companies making significant contributions to humanity, the industry, and the Association. This year Creative Leisure News’ Mike Hartnett was the recipient of the Meritorious Award of Honor. This is the highest award recognition the Craft & Hobby Association can bestow upon an individual past or present member, and is given for significant contributions made to the Association. The Special Recognition Award went to Mari Eriksson and the staff of Fusion Beads, a retail store in Seattle Washington. This award is presented to a person, group and/or company for their extraordinary contribution in an activity showcasing the craft and hobby industry in a positive way.

In 2014 the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show will return to Anaheim, California January 10-14 to celebrate the 73rd edition of the Show.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 2)


Throughout the month of November we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

Jumpstart Your Business!

By Kizer & Bender, CHA Retail Experts

We’re gearing up for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show! What better time than a new year to jumpstart your business?

First up: Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp, a must for every retailer! A down economy can either be an excuse to play it safe or a chance to outpace your competition – only you can decide where you want your business to go. Get ready for some crowd control! Our day long Retail Boot Camp will show you how to successfully differentiate your store from your competition, build a buzz about town, and thrill your customers all at the same time. No theories. No fluff. Just hard hitting information. On the agenda: Consumer trends you cannot ignore… anymore; techniques to hire smart, motivate, reward, and build a strong sales and service team; what’s new, hot and happening in Social Media Marketing, circa 2013; enough retailer-tested,no-cost, low-cost in-store events and promotions to increase traffic andbuild sales and profits; plus how to set your sales floor to sell with the latest in layouts and visual merchandising, store operations tips and inventory control. Save the date, Saturday, January 12, 2013. Seats are limited – don’t miss out!

On Sunday, January 13, we present Land Mines and Slippery Slopes, a BRAND NEW program that outlines 10 common problematic symptoms of failure – land mines – to avoid, how they affect your store’s performance, and what to do about them before they send your profitability slipping downward. You’ll leave armed with specific strategies to help you identify, avoid, and control your land mines, plus how to keep off the slippery slopes that erode and destroy your retail business.

Next up: One Size Does Not Fit All: Marketing to Different Generations. This one’s for retailers and manufacturers, actually anyone with customers. You can’t attract them if you don’t know who they are. Today you sell and market to five very distinct generations: LOMLOTs (consumers with Lots Of Money, Lots Of Time, ages 68+), Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (33-48), Millennials (19-32), and Generation Z (3-18). How these consumers respond to your marketing is based on their age – and their generational experience. Technology is huge, but how you use it depends greatly on which generation you are trying to reach.

LOMLOTs may be older, but they’re all over technology. Case in point: Skypeing with grandkids is huge. Texting is fun for Baby Boomers, but it’s as important as air to Millennials and Generation Z. Older gens still read newspapers, younger ones use them to line hamster cages. Gen Xers still enjoy magazines, but their kids prefer iPads. And if you still require shoppers to clip or print coupons you’re missing the boat. And a boatload of customers.

We’ve done the research! You’ll learn what it takes to attract each generation to your product or your store; when to go digital and when to hang on to tradition; which social medias go with which generations; how to get Pinterest followers off of their computers and in to your store; which in-store events attract which generations; how to effectively use e-mail marketing; how to optimize the consumer shopping experience; and more.

As CHA’s Retail Experts, when we’re not in seminars, you’ll be able to find us across from booth 1201 on the Show floor. Bring us your questions, concerns, challenges, opportunities, and photos of your sales floor for a one-on-one, customized consultation.

We’re excited about CHA Winter 2013. There’s so much to do and see and learn. And we’re thrilled to bring our wildly popular Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp to the creative industry. So do yourself a favor and click here to register for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference and Trade Show. We’re looking forward to seeing YOU in Anaheim!

~ Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

Conference Program registration opens Friday, November 16th at 10am ET.  Click here for more information and to register.