July 26th Newsletter

Dear Sea Dwellers,
It is with sadness that I mention the loss of one of our fellow Aquarium Community People.  Monte Valentin passed away a few days ago while doing what he loved, body surfing.  The waves this weekend were huge and drawing attention to many people living in Southern California.  Monte was not going to let these giant waves pass by without giving it a whirl.  Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right and he was caught by a giant wave which threw him onto the nearby rocks, and two more waves fell upon him before he was pulled from the water by life guards.
Monte was most recently a sales rep for a few different Marine wholesalers here in Los Angeles, and he may have been someone you spoke to on the phone helping you with your ship out orders.  He and I only got to know each other for a short time, but he was full of life and had a great love for the sun and sea.  RIP Monte.
Last week I mentioned some Summer trends in the market and how many hobbyists may not be purchasing many new items for the aquariums but are still purchasing “janitorial” items.  I spoke to one of our customers who held a local reef club meeting at his store, and turns out, most of what the club members purchased were just that….snails, crabs, conch’s etc…
I wasn’t surprised, but think there’s more ways to take advantage of the Summer time blues than what many of us are doing.  I thought maybe I would brain-storm some ideas, and just get us all thinking about how we can be creative during the Summer months to maximize retail sales and keep our customers interested in what they are doing with their aquariums.  Some ideas for the retailer:
1. Maintain new stock arriving in the store, and advertise when shipments of live animals are arriving to create some excitement.
2. If you have items becoming store mascot’s, move them around in other sections of your store to create a new look.
3. Keep a strong inventory of low cost but high need items such as the snails, crabs etc….and HIGHLIGHT them for what they do and market them in packages by the aquarium size.  For example, a 40 gallon reef needs X amount of each of X for X price.  Packages are a great way to make it easy for the customer to maintain their aquarium for a one easy price.
I hope we all get the idea here……just be creative and think of easy ways to motivate customers.  The Summer is a great time to educate both your staff and customers, and also develop some loyal relationships with everyone.  The Summer is short, but relationships can last a really long time.
In the meantime, we are continuing to think of ways to help our customers get through the next group of weeks until School comes back into session and we fall back on our regular schedules.  We appreciate all the support so far this year, and we promise to stay dedicated and focused to keep this great product and pricing there for you all to enjoy.
Best regards,
Eric Cohen