Registry Offers Growth For Independents
NEW YORK— By helping stores significantly
increase their business and gain loyal customers, gift registries
have become a popular offering at many independent retailers.
Elsa Pinto-Melikian, the founder and president
of Your Registry, Inc., has been a registry consultant since 1998.
Headquartered in Sacramento, CA, Your Registry
offers complete registry services to retail and service merchants
and their clients, providing data, registrant and guest management.
Registry Do's & Don'ts
Here are some Do’s
and Don’ts for developing a successful
registry program from Elsa Pinto-Melikian, the founder
and president of Your Registry, Inc.:
Do make an educated decision
about registry. Take time to see whom you are selling
Do create a store that
has heart and personality. You want it to be a destination
Do focus on good customer
service and the product mix. Know what the customer
wants, likes and dislikes.
Don’t let the registry
sit— plan, delegate, execute and promote. The
challenge is the execution and promotion of the
registry— following through.
Don’t do it on
paper. Have an on-line registry and use technology.
Pinto-Melikian’s extensive knowledge of registries
has led her to run seminars on the subject, and she has been featured
live on CNN to discuss the registry business. She has now written
The Registry Book, which provides independent retailers with market
information and tools for assessing and creating a registry program.
The book, which is available on the YourGiftRegistry.com Website,
is in a binder format and includes two hours of consulting.
“One of the goals of the manual is to empower
specialty retailers— to give them the tools and do the work
of preparing a registry,” commented Pinto-Melikian. “The
book educates, assists and empowers independent retailers.”
She added, “My company is about leveling
the playing field for independent retailers.”
According to Pinto-Melikian, its important to do
a market analysis before taking on a gift registry. She suggests
doing an analysis over 14 months. Here are the top questions she
recommends retailers ask themselves:
You need to know
who your market is and understand the demographics youre
dealing with, including the age of your customers. Do you
have a young set of customers to enable you to launch a program
and obtain revenue?
What is the community around you and who
is your competition?
Who is your customer? If you have a more
affluent clientele, what are you selling to them?
Succeeding in Business
There are many key elements needed in order for
an independent retailer to produce a successful gift registry, noted
Pinto-Melikian. Here are her top tips to help retailers create a
Due Diligence— Do your
homework. In doing your homework, you understand if you have
the infrastructure— whether a small, medium or large
specialty store— to manage and delegate [tasks] for
Technology— Don’t convince yourself
that paper is going to work [for a registry]. If you don’t
offer an on-line registry you’re not in the game. The
perception by the couple is that more people will see the
list and buy what they need.
You need to pay attention to young, technologically
savvy brides and grooms. The number-one way to get their attention
is through technology.
Promote— Every advertisement [for a
retail store] should mention your registry. You need a visible
presence in the store for the registry, and the staff needs
to mention the registry to customers.
The Big Event
order to improve a registry program and attract more customers to
the registry service, Pinto-Melikian suggests her clients have small
focus group events, inviting customers who are interested in registering
or who are already registered. This allows retailers to find out
directly from brides what they are looking for and interested in,
It is also beneficial to offer a variety of other
events geared to brides and grooms, she said. “Focused events
work better, such as newlywed cooking classes just for the bride
and groom. If they get hooked on cooking, you’ll get more
Pinto-Melikian emphasized that there are many benefits
of having an on-line registry. Following are her main reasons why
an on-line registry will enhance a store’s registry program:
An on-line registry gives you
a bigger share of the pie and brands and promotes the store.
It gets the younger generation into the store
so they age with the store. If you offer what they need they
stay with you.
||You capture [around] 150 qualified buyers and
increase your customer base.
© 2006 - ICD Publications