Wednesday Buzz: One Retailer’s Surprisingly Effective Strategy

How the Dollar General chain has found success by targeting a market no other retailer seems to want. Also: how to write shorter emails.

A good market isn’t necessarily one where lots of other people are already succeeding. Instead, it might be a place where your most formidable competitors have struggled.

That’s the takeaway from a recent Bloomberg Businessweek piece on the surprising success of the retailer Dollar General in rural towns. The company has become a $22 billion chain, with 14,000 locations nationally—a scale slightly larger than that of Starbucks.

And the company, despite its market of towns too small for Walmart, has managed to thrive. The piece lays out how the company does it—spotting markets with a clear need, building new locations on the cheap, and largely focusing on the essentials, rather than big-ticket items a larger chain might offer.

“They see a need and are aggressively racing to meet that need for low-cost goods in places that are food deserts,” Garrick Brown, director of retail research at Cushman & Wakefield, told the magazine.

Stories like these are good reminders that your association should think about its own niche: It’s better to have a market to yourself than one that’s already saturated.

Brevity Is Best

You may have understandable reasons for writing long emails. Perhaps you’re naturally long-winded, or you need to explain something complicated, or you think short, direct emails come across as too cold. No matter the reason, your long emails may be turning off recipients and wasting your time.

Fast Company shares a few tips for trimming down your emails. To start, cut out filler words like “think,” “just,” and “however.”

“Type out an email to a colleague and look at how many times you’ve included the words ‘I think,'” says Kat Boogaard. “While that helps to soften your language, it’s totally unnecessary. It’s assumed that this is what you think, since you’re the one writing the message.”

Other Links of Note

Infographic of the day. The Agitator shares essential features of an e-commerce website.

Are your middle managers exhibiting bad leadership skills? Forbes offers 14 ways you can tell.

Business travel isn’t just valuable for your organization. It’s also an opportunity for professional growth for your employees, reports SMBWorld Asia.

(Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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