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Opinions Wanted Could Michaels Get Hit by the Credit Crunch?

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
Kirstie, I have tried every imaginable type of marketing over the past year known to man, woman and child. Two months ago I decided to try the dinosaur; the old fashioned printed newspaper that people pay money to read. Yeah, you guys remember these things from when we were kids.

Turns out that people who pay money to read these things and get newsprint on their hands actually pay attention to whats in them. This is my 3rd run and the response has been unbelievable. Many of these people do not use computers regularly and had to call to ask for directions. Each time I have recovered my investment within a couple of days. I have had over 20 NEW customers since Saturday.

Maybe the BB's knew something all along that we thought was dead. This is where the BB's place their ads and they had beaten us up for years doing so.
Newspaper advertising in paid subscription papers in the Bay Area costs a fortune. The smaller papers are throwaway. We have advertised in both, but have never recouped our investment. What kind of paper are you advertising in?
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Newspaper advertising in paid subscription papers in the Bay Area costs a fortune. The smaller papers are throwaway. We have advertised in both, but have never recouped our investment. What kind of paper are you advertising in?
Daily subscription paper with circulation of 129,000. 3x6 add was $500 for five different days of my choice. It was a new customer special and then the price doubles. I published sizes with prices in it and that is why it worked. Check my website to see the add. Sold over 50 frame jobs from it since Friday.

Paul, Yes they will just as AIG, WAMU, JP Morgan Chase, PNC, Goldman Sachs................................................................................................................do and will.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Hey Jeff, was that $500 for each day, for $500 for all five days?

I just got an offer for a full-page ad in a newspaper with a paid subscription of 26,000, at $550 per day.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hey Jeff, was that $500 for each day, for $500 for all five days?

I just got an offer for a full-page ad in a newspaper with a paid subscription of 26,000, at $550 per day.
Paul it was all five days. Based on a full page for $550 a day I'm sure you could tailor the size and price to suit your needs.
 

MabSadie2

PFG, Picture Framing God
My longest post ever.

I know I wasn't trying to make generalizations about M's employees, but in rereading my posts, it's totally coming off that way, and I do sincerely apologize to any M's employees past or present. I think your presence here means that you are likely seeking education and community and that's the mark of success in an industry that's always changing. This girl that Jim describes is clearly on an upward swing and I'm always so proud of whippersnappers.

It's the corporate that bothers me, and I now have prejudices I can't shake because I worked four years, three of them in college, for Starbucks. I know, right? That's a company that was on a good trajectory. They used to have a lot of employee pride and could draw from the top of the service industry before the ridiculous expansion made them the McDonald's of Coffee. In the time I worked there, it changed so fast, but the indoctrination of culture was relentless. I sincerely believed their coffee was great and they loved their employees yaddah. Because I am a sucker. Just ask anybody.

When I went to managers training, I was the only internal hire in our district that quarter and there were eighteen in the training program. That is AWFUL for a company where you used to be able to work your way up. I saw my old manager, who posted district record profits from a store that used to fail and was very well liked by everybody, get passed over for promotion every year while they hired staff from outside restaurant businesses.

How was that coffee when rapid expansion and dispassionate management started passing out three hour old burnt Sumatra by an employee who is clearly not into serving you?

So because of this I have an aversion to the corporate lifestyle. The M's employees that have visited me are clearly burnt out, but they have also bought the indoctrination hype. And because of this one employee I used to have, that I described in my other post, I would hover more than a person with a reasonable amount of experience would be comfortable with. Also, some incredibly good framers are just not front of house people and my shop is everybody does everything.

Yeah, I am totally guilty of grandstanding too. It's not a good realization about oneself, but I have bought my own hype hook line and sinker. I adore adore adore my store. I bought it from the owner, who was my boss of 5 years. My first frame job was in a little box backroom with no windows. And the gallery wasn't my taste in anything and the owners were notoriously bad to their employees. I think I got a 50 cent raise every time something happened where a sane person would walk out, but I liked the framing so much. My ex-boss really rescued me from that, but when I went looking for jobs, I fell in love with the place the second I walked in. It needed a woman's touch, and a broom, and the owner was having a little trouble closing a sale with a guy that couldn't choose between two mats. I looked like a customer so I wandered over all friendly-like and made that guy's mind up for him. After the sale was closed and he left, I talked to the owner. He wasn't hiring, but he made a position for me after about a week and my experience was a welcome surprise. And yet, it was hard to change roles. I didn't like being reindoctrinated. I liked my work the way I used to do it and it was tough to get used to a new lifestyle that was more "take your time and do it right," than "hurry up, you're costing me money." And for that reason, I often hire people with clean slates and indoctrinate them.

I should have said that instead of what I did say. Dinner is ready, so I have to go, but thanks for taking the time to read if you got this far. Ta.
 

MabSadie2

PFG, Picture Framing God
I was going to edit that down to half that size, but after dinner my 60 minutes were up. I need a blog.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Sadie, if you ever do start a blog, can I come visit? I read every word of your posts, and they are well worth the effort. Your willingness to revisit previous comments for the sake of clarity is a good thing, and don't let anybody tell you differently.
 

dmcdon8985

Grumbler in Training
Hi All
This is a fascinating post, it seems the full realisation of the credit crunch is yet to fully effect me personally in the UK. It seems that it is the larger chain stores that are getting affected first probably because such large company’s are slow to react, whereas smaller operations can turn a decent marketing plan around in a few days.
I am not sure if we have any chain stores in the UK or even franchises. Fast Frame and Frames express have all seemed to disappear except for a few that have kept the name. How many large chains are there in the US?

Duncan McDonald
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
One difference between small indie frameshops and large chains is that once we reach breakeven each month, we can net a very large percentage of additonal gross sales. Chains have to reach that point across the board. Also, with all the layers of management and support staff, they're profits tend to represent a very small percentage sales.
 

HB

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Daily subscription paper with circulation of 129,000. 3x6 add was $500 for five different days of my choice. ...
3 x 6 What ? mm? I'll need a mag glass!

Sounds like a remarkable sale to me.

In our paper of 17,000, it costs about $450 for a 4" x 6" ad ONE INSERTION!!

Newsprint ads are too expensive for what my return is!
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
3 x 6 What ? mm? I'll need a mag glass!

Sounds like a remarkable sale to me.

In our paper of 17,000, it costs about $450 for a 4" x 6" ad ONE INSERTION!!

Newsprint ads are too expensive for what my return is!
Yes it is a great deal and only available during the first 30 days of a new customer run. The subsequent months jump to $144 per day for a 2x4 ad. I had to get creative and add the restaurant coupon to call myself a new customer the second month I ran it. I simply had to set up the account under Coasters Cafe.

That is in inches and you can see the ad I'm running on my website. This run I had $500 in new business walk through the door before the second appearance of the ad. I have them running 2 days apart but the price is what brings them in. Customers are quite skeptical about what I am selling so they call first to see if it is real which it is. I now have 150 quality wood frames at one price. All of my advertising states "No Plastic, No Junk".

This price includes standard paper mats and I charge for conservation materials but the frame price doesn't change. Friday I had a 30x40 oil come in and did the framing while they ate the free ice cream cone. 15 minutes later they were out the door. My material cost on the job was $4.50 and 15 minutes of time for $89 plus tax.

I want to do that job all day every day.
 
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