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Posts published in “Day: October 5, 2010”

East Aldine Lunch group discusses shoppers program

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By GILBERT HOFFMAN
The East Aldine District’s quarterly Business & Economic Development Forum was held at lunch last Thursday, with strong attendance from interested parties. About 45 persons attended the luncheon, held at the District’s offices at 5202 Aldine Mail Route.
Gretchen Larson, Economic Development Director, presented further details of the Shoppers Card program, and then took comments from the group on the business community’s interest in the program.
The program is intended to function as a “Loyalty Card,” where shoppers can get a bonus offered by the merchant, for shopping in local East Aldine stores. The Shopper’s Card does not cost the customer or the merchant anything except the incentive offered by the store.
However, this in turn brings repeat and additional business to the business.

The incentive is decided by each individual business, and could be a discount, or a special merchandise or service award.
The East Aldine District would benefit from additional sales tax revenue, but in turn would offer participating merchants free or reduced cost advertising and publicity, in newspapers, websites, and billboards. A free window sticker would identify participating stores.
Some of the meeting’s participants offered suggestions for approaching merchants, and mentioned concerns that some had in joining the program. It was suggested that the District could offer each store owner a free publicity or ad as a way of immediately benefitting.
Reggie Gray, president of the Houston Intercontinental Chamber and previously involved in retail merchant marketing, suggested ways that the Shoppers Program or a Merchants Association could benefit stores:
– Marketing classes
– Shared Security
– Accounting & Tax seminars
– More customers
– Holiday decorating jointly
– Clean-up common areas
Larson indicated that many of the ideas and suggestions from the meeting would be studied, and some implemented to improve the program and attract more merchants.