SPEAKING OF RETAIL ...... 06-13-9406-13-94


Byline: G.L.

ATLANTA--T.J. Reid, former Louisiana retailer turned author, lecturer and occasional TV talk show guest, spoke to buyers at the April market on a subject she knows well: "Tootin' your own horn," otherwise known as generating free--or, at least, inexpensive--publicity for your store. Despite the early morning hour, Reid drew a packed house, delivering the following tips with a humorous--and decidedly Southern--slant.
Stage fashion shows with real people as models. "Don't invite customers to eat fettucini alfredo while watching 99 pound models in size 3 clothes that they couldn't get their leg into."
Give free seminars to local clubs or church groups.
Use relationship marketing with local merchants, i.e., offer $1 off coupons with local dry cleaners, a free corsage from local florists.
Write a column for the local newspaper in exchange for advertising.
Offer programs for tourist groups and local hotels.
Host a radio call-in show or weekly program.
Offer turn-down service and maps at a local inn.
Hold a weekly lottery with a $100 gift certificate as the prize.
Never underestimate the value of the T-shirt, the tote bag, the litter bag, the emery board or the coupon book with your store name on it.
"In short," said Reid, "do anything--whether it's worthy, wonderful, weird or wacky--if it gets people inside your store."

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