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Crescent's “Feet on the Street”

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by libertycustomframes, May 7, 2013.


Were you visited/called recently by a Crescent "Feet on the street" survey agent?

Poll closed Aug 5, 2013.
  1. Does Not Apply/Not A Framer

  2. YES

  3. NO

  1. libertycustomframes

    libertycustomframes CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I received this email yesterday:

    "Visit from Crescent

    Dear Professional Picture Framer,

    To ensure that you are aware of the full Crescent offering, and where to get Crescent products, we are pleased to announce the start of a new “Feet on the Street” outreach initiative which will begin on May 6, 2013. Within the next three weeks we will canvas the country and visit over 10,000 frame shops face to face!

    In order to make this happen, we have partnered with a firm that specializes in this type of activity. The primary focus of this campaign will be to update you with a listing of the Crescent Distributor Partners in your area. We will also distribute a newly-created Crescent Catalog which highlights the full range of products that Crescent is proud to offer. It also provides a sneak-preview of a number of exciting new product launches including a new Crescent Couture matboard collection, new Select matboards, new Art Materials products and more.

    During this brief visit our “Feet on the Street” team will be gathering key data on each frame shop; the distributors you use, product lines carried, etc. – all in an effort to identify your needs and develop tools to help us serve you more effectively.

    Remember, THIS PROGRAM BEGINS TODAY! We are very excited about this new campaign and the opportunity to help you better identify Crescent products and the Distributors who support you. If you have any questions, or if we answer any questions on our products and programs, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-888-293-3956.

    Thank you for your support of Crescent."

    Now I'll have a chance to tell them Face-to-Face, until I finally receive their corner samples to show to customers, I'm not selling much of their line. I've been waiting two years now, and all I know is that I am on a "back order" list.....:shrug:
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    The two most asked questions when they visit.

    1. Who was the genius that made the LJ decision and has (s)he adjusted to their new career asking folks "Would you like fries with that?"

    2. How can I sell your product when I can't even get corner samples (or the samples I have are so old and dirty they turn the customers off)?
  3. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    And they hired outside help to do this canvasing. Meaning that the people that show up representing Crescent will know nothing of Crescent or framing. They will be college kids with a clipboard and a bunch of generic questions.

    So when we ask when we can expect the new corner samples to arrive, how the discontinued mats will be handled, whether the specifiers will be printed or actual swatches the canvassers will have no clue what we are asking.

    Does this really mean that Crescent got rid of their full time reps and are now doing "face to face" customer care with outsourced third party part timers?
  4. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    At least we now know there are more than 10,000 frame shops left in the USA...
  5. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    As far as I know, Crecscent has no issue with home based buying. So perhaps that count includes more than just "shops".

    This is a bad idea.
  6. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Why not just be honest, that they are doing market research, for their benefit.

  7. mlmintz

    mlmintz CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Amen to the dirty corner issue. Some of my Crescent corners look like the cat dragged (literally) them in
  8. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yup, exactly my first thought too. I do not want to participate in this. In fact, this is very off-putting to me. I would welcome a true Crescent rep into my store, not just a marketing exercise asking me about my business without providing any useful answers.
  9. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I believe this will really benefit the industry as a whole. They will confirm how many shops actually exist since they are dropping like flies right now. Once they know how much promotional items such as mat samples and specifiers they will be able to produce an appropriate amount. As far as the family that owns Crescent making the decision to drop LJ I don't think you will hear the owners asking if you want fries with anything.
  10. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The fact that they are using outside help will allow them to do this very quickly rather than over a 10 year period using reps.
  11. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Yes, I had a visitor yesterday. Exactly right, catalog and generic questions. I tried to air my concerns to
    the lady but she said she has no clue about it, I still answered everything she asked.
  12. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    It would have been smart for Crescent to hire out of work framers who had to close up to do this for them. At least they'd know of which you speak and give the between job framers some pocket money.
  13. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've had no issues with Crescent. They have sent me all new corner samples.

    Must be my wonderful nice personality and amazing and obvious caring nature that got me stuff whenever I asked... :popc:

    Seriously ... call the 800 number. It's not that hard.
    I welcome them coming to visit the shop. Hopefully they will bring lunch. :D
    They obviously have a list of shops..... so we are on their radar.
  14. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ted the Contrarian got a call from the VP, International Sales, Crescent cardboard.

    They are going to turn it around, and they mean business, so they've got my vote.
  15. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    The cheque is in the mail...

    UFO's are real...

    They are going to turn it around, and they mean business...

    All BS statements, just different ways of saying it.
  16. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    OK< I was being a little contrarian too :)

    I don't think Crescent needs to "turn it around" as I can't see that they are doing badly for us. Dropping LJ is not the big deal that everyone fears it to be. If you need crescent boards just order less from LJ and get more from the other suppliers.

    Crescent has been great, the boards consistent and when there is an issue they take care of it. I just don't like seeing the people we rely on "pawning off" their customer outreach to part timers that know nothing about framing. If they are gonna have someone walk into my shop I want to have a conversation about the products, not fill out what amounts to a phone survey.
  17. Creative Chicks

    Creative Chicks SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm not a bit contrary when it comes to Crescent. They have been a wonderful company to work with and their product has been in my store for going on 14 years. And like Nicole, I got new chevrons whenever I called and asked.

    If they send around a person to me, I will gladly answer their questions and give feed back. How else is a company as big as theirs going to get information to help make business decisions. Face to face is fine by me.


    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't see the issue.
    Show me a manufacturer or a distributor that has the resources to visit 10,000 customers in a short period of time? All they are doing is making an effort to compile information to better service those 10,000. They are even doing it with a person instead of a machine generated message. I am encouraged that a supplier is making the effort. Their sales staff (6-8)cover multiple states it would take them probably 6 months to a year to hit every one. I think they want to get it done quickly. Not sure how this can be anything but positive.
  19. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree with Jim... even if he is only a two year old.
  20. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think the odometer rolled over on that one Dave. :shutup:
  21. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Wow Mark! I thought I was the contrarian!! I'm serious about the conversation I had with the VP. She's seriously interested in turning around the Canadian situation, and I say give Crescent a chance.
  22. Z David

    Z David MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I had the person on the ground visit me yesterday before I even received the email. A marketing company was contracted with to handle the task, and a gal not far from here that does some work for this company (usually out of her home) was selected to make shop visits in our locale. So... she knows nothing about this industry... but she was friendly! I was given a packet of info. as she read from a script and asked me a few questions like what mat cutter I used, what POS did I use, and one or two other questions that I don't remember. The packet included their 2013/2014 Product Offering, Preferred Distributors List, and a "We're here to help!" card.

    Then I got a call today from Crescent about some corner samples that I've been waiting for that are about to be mailed! Shazzam!


    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    at least someone around here has some sense ....LOL
  24. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't have an issue with Crescent. I do get my samples whenever I ask for them. I have never seen a rep enter my store though and would welcome that more than a marketing company rep. I am on their email list and do get updates about discontinued and new items.

    I would like to know more about how they are going to use this information. How is what I use for CMC, for POS any help to them? Maybe I just don't see it....

    I will continue to do business both with LJ and Crescent. I just honestly fail to see how this feet on the street program is going to help me.
  25. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Are these people going to call first or just show up cold?
  26. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    No one ever called me, she just walked in.
  27. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    10,000 seems like an optimistic estimate of the number of small-independent, storefront framing businesses. 8,000 seems more realistic. Since the visitors plan to simply drop in, many of the attempted contacts will fail. In reality, it would be a great achievement to gather information from 4,000 to 5,000 frame shops.

    Neutrality is one benefit of sending out independent contractors. Since the visitors have no clue about the company they are representing, there would be no benefit for a framer to complain to them. But the complaints will surely come anyway, so I probably wouldn't want to be one of those contractors.

    Several prominent companies in our industry have suffered in recent years, due to misunderstanding the framing market's unprecedented evolution. Apparently recognizing the need for clarity of mission, Crescent is using independent contractors to gather information that will help their future marketing, which seems like a very good idea. I don't see anything devious or negative about it, and will cooperate fully if one of those contractors manages to find my store.
  28. Z David

    Z David MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The marketing rep. just showed up here. I only see someone even remotely industry related once in a blue moon... so it's always a welcome sight!

    Of course since she lives in my market area I also looked at it as another means/opportunity for promoting MY business!

    I'm still working at getting people to be aware of my existence! So... I'm nice to everyone (except distant telephone solicitors).

  29. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

  30. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    When I originally got the email I thought, how rude, they are not setting up appointments but since the person was in and out of here just now in about 20 seconds...I guess an appointment was not needed.
  31. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    They'll never find me!

  32. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Me neither.... unless they call first.

    But I think that if the information is properly collected it may be helpful. Kudos for trying.

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Dave That is so true unless they have a current GPS. When I tried visit Dave I ended up 10 miles away before I called for directions.....
  34. UzZx32QU

    UzZx32QU Administrator Staff Member

    They came into my store about a week ago. The person was professional quick, maybe too quick, and was gone in under three minutes.

  35. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    They stopped by my place last week. Soon we will know how many independent framers exist in the U.S. as I'm sure Crescent will share that info.
  36. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    That may be an interesting figure.

    Just had my visit - 2 question, what type of mat cutter do you use - do you have POS. Here is the latest info from Crescent and I think so-&- so supplies to this area.
  37. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    2 questions? That is it? I still fail to see how this is helping the industry, or Crescent. 20 seconds to 3 minute visit.

    I just don't understand the benefits of this.
  38. Z David

    Z David MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I bet there's marketing research somewhere that indicates that 2 questions is the limit of what most people will readily tolerate in a survey.
    If you've ever called Tru Vue, at the end of the call they do a survey... it's 2 questions!

    They might all like to ask more but at what point does it become an annoyance? They sure as heck don't want to alienate people... particularly their customers!

    I know that 2 is about the extent of what I'm willing to tolerate! Sometimes I don't want even deal with 1.

  39. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Crescent marketers must have their own reasons, but a couple of possibilities come to mind. Maybe they think it's worth the cost to put the Crescent name in front of framers in their own stores, ask a few questions, and take some notes. This could turn out to be the most accurate census of American frame shops in several years, including numbers of framers using POS and CMCs. And the fact that this thread is still going on may not be the least of the benefits to Crescent.
  40. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well, I am still waiting with bated breath. I was kinda hoping to have a new specifier in my hand to show to the artists last week - I wanted to compare the 1975 Crescent specifier to show how the industry had expanded since then. Ended up showing them the latest Bainbridge one instead.
  41. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    There were supposed to be more than 2 questions with others being who do you buy materials from and they had a list for the area. Crescent wants to be sure there is a distributor for all independent frame shops. There were about 10 questions as I recall but several were very simple yes/no or a name of who you buy from currently. The lady who did mine said there were a couple shops on the list that no longer existed but she was early in the process so there will be plenty more.

    The info gained will help Crescent determine things like how many corner sample sets are needed for an area. Informal estimate puts the cost of a set of rag samples alone at over $200 production cost. How many rag mats does a customer need to buy before Crescent just breaks even on the samples. When we buy mat boards the manufacturer makes a small profit since much of our cost is the shipping charges to suppliers and then mark up at the supplier which figures in delivery costs.

    None of us like price increases and if the sample sets are limited to a number close to existing shops it will limit price increases. Just think of how many millions of dollars are wasted every month by suppliers shipping frame corner samples. This industry exploded during the tech and then housing booms. Just like those booms the expansion was not sustainable especially once consumers became price conscious.
  42. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    >>>>>>>I still fail to see how this is helping the industry<<<<<<<<

    Crescent is sending a small army of people into the field to make physical contact with a master list of picture framers.

    This is huge and I hope they share some of the information they gather.

    Maybe they can answer a few big questions:
    How many frame shops exist.?
    How many are store fronts?
    How many on the list are photographers, designers or artist?

    This kind of information isn't being gathered by anyone else.

    So what if the Crescent rep arrives and doesn't know anything about the industry? The perspective of an average consumer may be the best perspective.

  43. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    My Crescent rep arrived several days ago. She was very nice and quick with her questions.

    I asked her more questions than she asked me.:D

    She was a pro and didn't divulge anything about the information gathered.

    The only nod she made was about all the dead ends on the list and that she had to make contact with a lot a residence locations.

  44. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    An official Crescent REP or one of the foot patrol? Curious as to whether the reps themselves are also out meeting with us or just the hired hands at this point in time.
  45. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No reps are involved in the survey. The results will be provided by a professional marketing company which will make the results accurate. There are only about 10 reps nationwide so this would take years if it was being handled by them.
  46. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I am not saying that there would not be useful information to be gathered, I am questioning the questions.What do they care what CMC I am using and if I have a POS?

    I would expect questions about mat suppliers (which ones do you use, where do you get it) and what sells at my location. Not sure if Crescent is getting that information through distributors.

    Do they sell CMC's or POS????

    Sorry, I might just have my blond moments here, I still don't see the relevance.
  47. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think a few of the questions could be useful in the future for them. CMC is important so they can test their products using those that are most common. We all remember the Rag Mat issue of a few years ago where it cut fine on a manual cutter but not so much on the CMC. 10 years ago the majority of shops were using manual cutters but now it may be the majority using a CMC. POS data could be dropped for some of the old software which may have died off. Since they already have somebody stopping in it doesn't cost extra to ask a few extra questions that could be helpful in the future for them.
  48. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    There are some POS vendors that charge to have a vendor submit their data. Additionally, there are some that are more of a PITA regarding formatting and other items when you do submit. So perhaps they want to know what impact there would be if they stop paying and submitting data to certain vendors.

    Perhaps CMC and/or POS vendors are looking to partner with Crescent on programs and perhaps Crescent is trying to truly analyze a given CMC/POS vendors penetration in the market to determine whether it is worth the cost of investment in a program.

    Those would be my bets.
  49. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Okay, that makes some sense to me. However, from what I understand from those who had the visit, these were the ONLY two questions?
  50. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ylva I think CMC's cut from the front where us with manual cutters cut from the back. So a CMC would need a sturdier front to the matboard than us with manual cutters and slip sheets need. Maybe that little tid bit of info would affect the chemistry of the matboard? :shrug:
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