Merchandising 102

My Macy's window. Back in the early 90's I started creating what I called my Macy's window display vehicles. This is not for the faint of heart, so if you are feeling faint, move to the next topic.

These trucks were outlandish. They were bold and different and at the same time exciting (at least to me!). Here are just a few examples of some of my Macy's window display vehicles from the past:

  • I would get a 4500/5500 84" CA in bright red and upfit it with a great service body like a Harbor Body. I would add all kinds of options and trick features, like drawers, treadbrite lids, MasterLock system. I made sure it had a BLACK straight leg narrow forklift loadable rack. I would put Alcoa aluminum wheels that I sent out had had polished for an extra $200. The truck had all the luxury equipment package like Lariet, SLT, etc. This truck I would call my Fire Engine truck. Every male kid loves a fire engine! Even when they grow up! After it is all decked out, I stick it out on a very prominent point and I don't think it ever lasted longer than 3 weeks! As soon as it sold, there was one to replace it. It has to be a bright, jump in your face color! I never got around to it back then, but if I were doing it today, I would try a bright yellow one! Red is a pretty safe color believe it or not. Great piece.
  • I would always have the prettiest aluminum flatbed on my lot: the ProTech Aluminum Flatbed. I would have the outside edges polished and make it look sweet! It always went on an 84" CA 3500 with the Alcoa polished wheels with the Alcoa center cap kit. The truck was the top of the line cab with any color other than white! This is especially good with a metallic color and we don't need to worry about the extra cost of painting the body. On one occasion I stocked a flatbed and a flatbed dump at the same time! I advertised them and the flatbed dump was sold into a different state and shipped by transport. This is a great piece.
  • Speaking of Alcoa Wheels, I became one of the larger sellers of 8 and 10 lug Alcoa Wheels in the country. We were buying so many we had to search warehouses all over the country to find enough--especially the 19.5" wheels. It is just amazing how much a nice set of Alcoa's will do for the sale itself and especially the gross profit. Of course, colored trucks scream for that treatment, but white looks great as well. Consider dressing a few trucks up and see what I mean. I had a special arrangement with a local supplier and after proving what we could do, we worked a deal where all the wheels were on consignment until sold so that the dealer didn't use it's cash for this. Sweet!
  • I used to sell Isuzu trucks. I took an 84" CA Isuzu truck and put a 12' Black van body on it and sent the factory wheels out to have them chrome plated. I had the cab and mirrors painted black to match the body. The body wasn't painted black, it used aluminum that was pre-colored black so the color would last and all the stainless steel rivets added character to it. I used this truck to my billboard and would put signs on it and it was on "the point" so everyone driving by couldn't miss it. It was very effective.
  • Here's another Isuzu story. Since Isuzu is a tilt-cab product, the overall length is 4' shorter than a conventional cab truck with the same size body. The turning radius is far shorter (because the wheelbase is 4' shorter and the wheels turn sharper). So, most dealers who were bold enough to put a service body on the Isuzu instead of the typical van body or stakebed, they would usually put an 11' service body because that's what they do for their conventional cab. I looked at it a bit differently. I put a 13' service body on the Isuzu and have way more storage space and still have a 2' shorter overall length tighter turning radius! Now I have something to really talk about with a prospect. The first time I tried this, I bought two. I sold them both to one customer right off the lot. There probably was not another in the entire state of California. Different has its dividends.

There are hundreds more of these kind of stories. I never ask for permission, but I always have a plan on how I will market and sell them. Eat your spinach and go for it!

No comments: