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Retail Marketing 101: The 4 P's

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Product, Price, Place, Promotion

The 4 P's of marketing

Marketing is much more than just advertising. Most marketing books will refer to 4 areas of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Product. The selection and quality of product. Are you going to sell an extensive selection of a few categories, or are you going to have a small selection of many categories. Are you going to have high or low quality.

Price. What type of markup are you going to use. Are some items going to have a different markup.

Place. Where are you going to sell your products. Brick and mortar store, mail order, web, or some combination. Large, high traffic location; or an inexpensive location. All new fixtures, or get by with used.

Promotion. What type advertising and promotions will you use. What will be your advertising budget. How much customer service will you provide. Providing customer service is not free. Providing good customer service is expensive.

Your Job, as the owner, is to decide on the mix of the 4 P's. The mix you decide on will define what your store is. Set reasonable goals. Remember, it isn't possible to do everything.

My suggestions

Do not compete head to head, especially with a much bigger competitor. You will loose every time. Even if you do 'win', the victory will have been expensive.

Do not fight customer expectations. When a retail customer goes to a discount box store they do not expect good customer service, so they are not disappointed when the sales person does not know anything about the product. In fact, the customer is almost pleased because their expectation was proven true. When same customer visits a small specialty store they will be expecting a helpful, knowledgeable sales person; and they will disappointed if the service is only average. I know, it is unfair; but that is the way it is.

Sell what sells. Stock you store with items that your customers want to buy, not just items you like personally. This is the difference between having a hobby and having a business.

Do not stand in the way when someone wants to give you money. There is a market for high quality products and good service. As small business owners, we tend focus too much on the price of an item. For a lot of people, price is secondary. They want a high quality product and good service, and they are happy to pay extra for it. Don't stand in the way!


Your local library will have an entire section of books devoted to small business. If you only get one good idea from a book, it was worth the time.


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For wholesale information please call 1-800-247-3952. All prices shown are suggested retail.

order.gif (553 bytes)  Ordering. All the items shown here are available to retail stores from Yarn Tree. We encourage you to contact your local needlework store. However, if there is not a needlework store in your area, or if you have any questions or comments, you may contact us directly at 800-247-3952. Stores may open a wholesale account by calling 800-247-3952. Stores outside the USA may contact us by e-mail or fax. Please use the secure form to send credit card information. Contact us.