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TheStreet Open House

The Bon-Ton's CEO Presents At Goldman Sachs Nineteenth Global Retailing Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: BONT

We need to do a better job speaking to her in her language not ours. Again I mentioned the Bon-Ton language we used. We have events that we – that mean something to us but not to the outside world. Capacity days was one of our biggest events of the season, yet I still don't know what a capacity day is and neither does the customer, particularly as we try and reach out to new customers that might be [different] franchise from other retailers.

We need to communicate with all of our customers. We were only communicating to about 25% of our active database. I think this is tremendously low-hanging fruit for us. Most retailers are out there buying other list to market to. We have our own internal list that we're only touching the surface on.

We obviously need to gain market share in order to reach these goals and for me capitalizing on the under $10 million doors is a big opportunity for us. These are markets where there is no Macy's. It's us and Kohl's and Penney's. And they don't have access to many of the same brands that we have access to where we're often the only place within 50 miles you can buy Estee Lauder, buy Nine West and buy Ralph Lauren. And I think we need to do a better job using that as an advantage to get people on the doors.

We need to clean up our message. We are going to embrace coupons. I learned at Lord & Taylor that customer response to the coupon is better than any other promotional deal. It really frames the discount for them and I think it's something we kind of were half using before. We're very clear now about our use of the coupons and how that's going to drive our overarching store events and also allow us to have longer, stronger events. We were getting too choppy with our stopping and starting different events as we constantly changed the message.

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