I recently had the honor of being invited to meet one-on-one with John Morgan, Chairman and CEO of Archivers. (How cool is that?!) Over a cup of coffee, John generously shared with me his view of the paper crafting industry as a whole, his goals for Archivers specifically, and why he believes that by achieving his goals for Archivers, he will in turn strengthen and improve this industry that we all love so much.
John Morgan is a 70-year old, once retired, very successful business man. He can claim responsibility for creating one of the most successful retail store franchise models in the United States. (He is a major stakeholder of Winmark Corporation, which is the company that franchises Play It Again Sports, Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, and Music Go Round.) And he now has a vision for creating a SUCCESSFUL local scrapbook retail sales model
John Morgan has been involved with Archivers for a few years, but he only became Chairman and CEO in the fall of 2009. He has studied the industry closely and has developed a plan for recreating that retail success within the scrapbooking arena. His plan is complex and is still a work in progress, but it includes some of the following components:
- An affiliate or perhaps even a franchise model that helps independent stores by offering them business supports, marketing supports, robust point of sale systems, joint buying power (if interested, not required), and more.
- A vendor model that creates win-win relationships between the retailer and the manufacturer so that both parties are able to thrive.
- Recognition that customer education and a quality customer experience are key.
- Recognition that online sales are not going away and can actually be leveraged toÂ supplement the customer experience.
- Development of a “home party” model that will introduce scrapbooking to more women throughout the country, thus bringing much needed new paper crafters into the fold. (Haha, my pun, not his.)
- A business model that will allow the retail store, the home party consultant, and the online store to work together, versus in competition with each other.
- A complete customer experience that serves the scrapbooking customer in the way that she wishes to be served, whether it be within a retail, party or online environment.
John is committed to implementing his vision and says that he won’t give up until he succeeds, or until he proves to himself that it can’t be done.
What kind of progress is he making so far?
- Archivers began selling online via their Archivers Annex site in December 2010.
- In mid-January, we shared with you an Archivers Press Release here describing their new affiliate relationship with Memory Bound in Ankeny, Iowa. Memory Bound is a successful independent store run by two intelligent, respected women who love this industry. They are working closely with Archivers to help develop the new affiliate (or possible franchise) model so that it will be successful on all sides.
- On January 25th, Archivers posted a job listing for a Manager of Direct Selling via Monster.com. (John mentioned believing that Stampin’ Up and Pampered Chef are “doing it right.”)
- You can look for some interactive “Ask Robin” blog and/or newsletter features to begin soon.
What’s next? I honestly don’t know what the specific next steps will be, but I will do my best to keep you posted as John Morgan and Archivers make progress toward their goals …. And the next time John is in the Atlanta area? I will take him up on his offer to have me drop by the store for an update 🙂