Posted on

Al's Column: Teamwork is the key to success

October 23/30, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 10

By Christopher Grubb

Christopher Grubb

Many homeowners want to be do-it-yourself designers, but much can get lost in translation. Projects can contain hundreds of details that can easily be misunderstood when a client attempts to verbally describe her wants to the contractor. Having a designer in the mix makes the process go far more smoothly. And when it comes to filling in those important details, a retailer can make the purchasing process a seamless one, resulting in a successful project for all involved.

At The International Surface Event in January, I will present “Contractors, designers, and retailers: Forging partnership for success.” Through an interactive discussion, I will explain how cultivating and maintaining relationships with other industry professionals can be mutually beneficial for all involved. By working together to create unforgettable design experiences for the client, designers, contractors and retailers can easily elevate their own success through long-term partnerships.

Over the course of my career, I have successfully cultivated relationships across the supply chain. I have shared my creative insights and design tips as a featured guest on various national special series, internationally syndicated shows and local news programs that have aired on ABC, NBC, HGTV and the Hallmark Channel, among others. During my presentation, I will explain how these solid working relationships provide many benefits to the overall project, often saving time, hassle, money and the contractor’s reputation.

I believe an interior designer cannot only help a contractor in producing a precise construction bid, but he or she can also prevent the contractor from morphing into a client’s designer, avoiding unnecessary project conflicts. Designers can have better access with retailers when it comes to tiered pricing. An interior designer can help clients select products and finishes, as well as discuss material costs or any product issues or concerns. This leaves the contractor free to focus on building and constructing the project.

Christopher Grubb, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning interior designer, is the president and founder of the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based firm Arch-Interiors Design Group. His presentation will take place Wed., Jan. 31, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 



Posted on

Al's Column: TISE offers a learning environment

October 10/17, 2016: Volume 31, Number 9

By Carol Wilkins

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-10-21-44-amIn order to remain effective and relevant in business today, you must be a sharp retailer who possesses the ability to multitask. A business professional must demonstrate outstanding skills in leadership, communication, customer service, sales acumen, social media engagement, branding, etc. Are you willing to adapt, take on multiple roles to meet the requirements for business today, or are you content with business as usual?

To stay on top of trends and advance your retail business you must be keen to review and participate in education that is targeted and tailored. While there are many industry resources for training, we have curated some key topics and resources to assist you along the way.

Begin your learning journey with the full Retailer Experience. Alternatively, if time is limited, the Retailer Day program is an option. The Retailer Experience offers a selection of 55 sessions in addition to the Speed Trending Tour: An Eye on 2017 Trends breakfast, the Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos and an exhibits registration pass where attendees can meet face-to-face with manufacturers and suppliers. The Retailer Day program offers an edited version of the Retailer Experience, including one full day of self-select sessions and the Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.49.34 PMHave you considered how 2017 will shape up in terms of residential and commercial supply and demand? Have you looked at legal or political concerns, a design philosophy for your retail space, competitive branding, developing your business culture or even trends forecasting to capture the perfect products for 2017? Stay up to date, with critical insights, actionable intelligence and the latest research during this economic forecast session, The 2017 Residential & Commercial Forecast – Has The Cycle Peaked?

Boost your customer service credentials with your engagement from Zappos, an online retailer renowned for their stellar customer service. Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos will provide a unique experience to see and hear first-hand what makes the Zappos Co. so successful and accomplished. Ask yourself, what are they doing that I can implement in my business to yield similar results?

PrintWhat about target marketing? Remember, millennials are different than any other group in history. Are you changing your marketing and social media strategy to engage with this group or will you sit on the sidelines? They act differently, think differently and most definitely shop differently. If you are not prepared to deal with their unique needs and approach to retail, you may lose them as a consumer. Don’t wait for a crisis to be your motivator for change or for competitors to take the reins and become the resource and place for millennials to shop. To get a jump on solutions for your business, explore this topic during Millennials–Changing the Game.

For a complete list of education solutions for retail businesses as well as updates, free webinar schedules and speaker information, visit and click on “conference sessions.”