Kole Imports: Your Profit Source
"Value" is a big word at Kole Imports, one of the discount retail industry's direct import powerhouses. It informs every single product in the company's impressive 4,000-plus-item inventory; it is the reason that retailers seek out Kole Imports at trade shows, on the Internet and through their catalog-and buy. And then come back for more. Value is also a big reason for Kole Imports' excellent reputation within the industry-as well as for the company's success.
Says Danny Kole, co-founder (along with brother, Rob), of the company: "We are absolutely committed to providing high-value items to our customers, in every category." And judging by Kole's continued growth, as well as the high degree of customer loyalty they enjoy, this emphasis on value gets an enthusiastic reception.
Part of the "valuation" process for Kole involves their buyers going directly to their sources, and working with them to find creative ways to give Kole's customers just a little more-five pieces instead of three, for example, or noticeably better quality on an item for the same price. "There is no sacrifice in quality for the value", says Danny Kole.
Another aspect of Kole's enhanced value equation is the emphasis placed on working with customers, not just to understand their needs and concerns, but to address them as well. This proactive approach is illustrated by the company's new packaging, which is now "branded" and tailored to specific lines. This allows their retailer customers to show that their merchandise is truly categorized, and to display the products to their best advantage. Not surprisingly, the response to this change has been overwhelmingly positive.
Additionally, Kole Imports constantly updates inventory-and researches trends on both a product and industry level to in sure that the company and its customers stay competitive. According to Danny Kole, the most recent industry data indicates that the typical dollar store customer shops for products an average of twice a month. And these shoppers are no longer just looking for staples: They are on a "treasure hunt," seeking merchandise in variety channels that is new and eye-catching-and dollar stores must keep their merchandise fresh and up-to-date if they want to keep these multiple-sale consumers returning.
Other consumer trends are playing a part in Kole Imports' most recent merchandise offerings, with Danny Kole noting the expansion of several existing categories-as well as the introduction of some new. Pet care and related products, for example, are at present the fastest-growing existing category at Kole, followed closely by the new "Genesis" brand of religious items, which is already moving toward 100 individual items. Kole's selection of craft items has grown rapidly from 25 items to near 200, and the new scrapbooking category is already at 75 items.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Kole Imports values their customers' time, or lack thereof, and has made easy ordering and quick fulfillment a company mandate. Customers can order at a trade show, by phone, fax, or on the Internet. They can browse at their leisure using the four-color print catalog, or via their extensive Web site, which for a site this sophisticated, is surprisingly user friendly. There are pictures of everything, which means that buyers looking for online convenience are accorded the same opportunity to see a product before they order.
There is something to be said for a company where "value" isn't just an advertising slogan-and Kole imports' customers say it each and every time they place an order.
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IMPORTS, 24600 South
Main Street, Carson, CA 90745