RENEWED INTEREST IN COOKING
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Trend creates more educated appliance and housewares buyers
Over the last few decades, the popularity of cooking shows have reached an all-time high. Cooking is no longer hidden in weekend PBS or local cable shows. It has become mainstream and even a part of primetime TV. Movies about chefs and restaurateurs have been met by great reviews and they just keep coming. But what does that mean to you as a Retailer in today’s Epicurean craze? My feeling is that it creates more opportunity.
Gone are the “I just need any old stove to replace the one I have” days. Today, consumers want more—more power, more options and more colors. They are asking about BTU’s, steam, speed cooking, induction, convection, smart technologies and even sous vide and blast chilling.
These phrases are new to many of your customers’ vocabularies. You have the opportunity to educate them about these options, and most of all, upgrade the kitchen packages that you sell.
I recently returned from the International Home and Housewares show in Chicago and I was blown away by all the new toys available to these up-and- coming Chopped Champions. I saw new induction pan and burner sets that spoke to each other via bluetooth, blenders that weighed the food and made sure your recipes were on spot with an app and even a food caviar maker that created small food filled balls to make flavored and colorful garnishes.
This creates another opportunity in your stores and that’s housewares as an add on sale. If they can spend $20,000 on new appliances, what’s another $1,000 for some new pots and pans and countertop appliances?
Give consumers what they want by following these cooking trends. For you, it’s extra profit and for them it’s the next step up to becoming a culinary genius.
ONE TASK AT A TIME
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Recently, I’ve been noticing more and more articles on the power of doing one thing at a time versus multitasking.
Multitasking was all of the craze in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The theory was that the more tasks you could do at the same time, the more productive you would be. New technology only spurred on our quest and ability to do even more.
Today, multitasking has evolved into what’s now been coined “busyness”. But studies are showing that most people who multitask are in fact busy, but not very productive. In fact, our brains actually can’t multitask, it can only focus on one thing at a time. So, forcing it to switch from one task to another, actually slows you down, reduces your efficiency and performance and weakens your attention span.
That’s why so many of us feel busy, overwhelmed and mentally fatigued but don’t seem to be getting enough done. I’ve found time-blocking is a great way to work with the way our brains naturally operate. The premise is fairly simple. Got a project or task to complete? Block off time in your calendar to work on that task. For instance, block out 1 hour each morning to answer emails. During this time, you do nothing else but answer emails. Sounds too easy to be true, but it works!
In the past, I would start my day answering emails while answering the phone, opening mail, getting updates from employees, etc. By the end of the day, I had only answered a handful of emails. By blocking 1 hour each morning, all of the most important emails get answered every day.
It will take a little experimenting to find the best time of day to block off times for different tasks. But believe me, running your business one task at a time will keep you more productive, but most importantly, sane!
Until next time,