Magnificence of Nature is Breathtaking at Amangiri Canyon Point, UtahIMG_3405IMG_3475IMG_3431

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Toadstool Hoodoos

Toadstool Hoodoos

"Don't Bust The Crust" don't walk on nutrients in the top soil

“Don’t Bust The Crust”  top soil contains all the nutrients for growth

Cairns mark the trails not to get lost in the desert

‘Cairns’ mark the trails not to get lost in the desert

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Big Water, Utah

Big Water, Utah

 

Best merchandised store I've seen!  I'm serious!

Best merchandised store I’ve seen! I’m serious!

Horseshoe Bend, Az where the Colorado River curves

Horseshoe Bend, Az looking down where the Colorado River bends

The Majestic West…appropriately experienced by us just before Thanksgiving. Kept me grounded, in awe, and  THANKFUL to have the FREEDOM to experience beauty with family and friends, and GRATEFUL  for these moments  and shared experiences.

To share this quote from our Thanksgiving table:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance.  It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us.  This frees us from unnecessary stress.  Live your life from your heart. (Melody Beattie) 

OKEY- Now to selling stuff…

Black Friday has turned into Black Week.  Official reports state that sales were down 11% for Black Friday.  (Shocked that even the Boston Symphony had a Black Friday special.)  Then there was Small Business Saturday connecting local businesses with the community.  I’m all for this!  Then yesterday was Cyber Monday. An official report says sales were up 23%…if we believe them.  Profit margins are down with all the deals and free shipping…Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, Walmart say on-line profit is half what it is in the stores.  Today is Giving Tuesday- Gifts that give back.  Many e mails from the CEO’s of your local charities asking for contributions.  It’s easy to send your money on-line today, or write checks for tax deductions before the end of December.  The auto sales report is going to knock our socks off.  With gas prices down, people are buying cars…in droves.  Guess next year we will need to buy a car on Black Friday…and take advantage of  big deals.

Everyone is talking about price!

No one is talking about  service… 

Service  is my thing…my mantra! Yes I care!

How gracious is the staff in the stores, how warm are the people on the phone, how fast can the product get to you with good quality?  How organically is a team working to make me happy as a customer?  Being grateful allows more patience, more warmth, more willing to help.  Gratefulness for the business, for the opportunity to serve…and thankful that I am opening up my wallet to buy something.  That is what matters to me, showing appreciation.  I shopped on Black Saturday at Bloomingdales, and experienced the ‘more you buy the more you save’ as their philosophy.  My salesman knew every angle for savings, %off here, double points, extra gift cards for more dollars spent.  Louis was well informed of this complicated dialogue. He was gracious and kind and had our best interest at heart.  I bought 2 pieces of luggage for the price of one. He was working for me, his customer!

I’m a news junkie and  follow the reports daily on retail sales.  Snow storms, rain, floods, now riots to contend with, there is always something throughout the country to contribute to sales ups and downs, in December.

ITS NOT OVER UNTIL IT IS OVER…Jan 4, 2015. Then we will see the final reports.  The challenge for merchants in the store of the future is more intense every year!  It will take the creativity of the combination of salesmanship from every channel, and every marketing maneuver to compete.  But it has to be all year round. December does not make the year.  I am sure the debrief of 2014 is happening now to plan for 2015.  Great product at a fair price and superb service.  That is what will get me to buy…how about you?