NYC's J&R Does More With Less

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For Manhattan CE retail icon J&R Music World, trimming its marketing budget proved to be a blessing in disguise.

Forced to cut marketing costs after losing much of its customer base with the collapse of the nearby World Trade Center, J&R nevertheless boosted sales by creatively reallocating assets.

President Rachelle Friedman, speaking at a small business breakfast hosted by local news radio station WCBS, recently recounted how savings from reduced marketing expenditures were plowed into lower prices and free shipping for customers.

"We realized that you don't have to spend as much money on marketing," she said. "Just take some of that money and offer a better deal and get the customer more excited. And so we were able to decrease our marketing budget but increase sales."

Case in point: catalogs. "Catalogs are very, very expensive to produce and to mail out," Friedman said. So the company reduced theirs to a flyer and put the savings into sharper promotions.

Other advice offered by Friedman:

  • Show customer appreciation — and spotlight your store — by sponsoring special events.
  • Always run paid advertising in the same position in newspapers or during the same day slot on radio and TV.

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