FROM MORTGAGE BROKER TO 2nd CARTRIDGE-WORLD STORE

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FROM MORTGAGE BROKER TO 2nd CARTRIDGE-WORLD STORE

 user 2009-07-10 at 11:59:26 am Views: 54
  • #21938

    http://www.ridgecrestca.com/news/business/x931225972/Specialization-secret-to-niche-stores-success
    FROM  MORTGAGE BROKER TO 2nd CARTRIDGE-WORLD STORE 
    Bob
    Opperman’s jump from home mortgages to toner cartridges has translated
    to success in a recession.Opperman opened his first Cartridge World
    store in December 2005 on State Street in Rockford. He opened a second
    store in March 2007 near the fast-growing retail corridor of Illinois
    173 in Machesney Park.He researched dozens of franchise opportunities
    and decided on Cartridge World for two reasons: People are recycling
    more, and they want to save money. But there’s another secret to his
    success: Niche retailers are among the few showing positive earnings in
    a faltering economy.“Businesses that we’ve talked to in the past year
    are seeing the value of what we’re offering,” Opperman said. “They can
    cut expenditures and save money without hurting people or
    product.”Opperman said Cartridge World initially catered to about 80
    percent walk-in customers. Now, that split has shifted to about 65
    percent business customers and 35 percent walk-in business.

    And
    because Cartridge World refills cartridges so they can be used three or
    four times, customers can save up to 40 percent on printing
    costs.Batteries Plus, another niche player with stores in Rockford and
    Loves Park, has been moving plenty of product lately, ever since the
    market for mobile devices like cell phones, laptops and digital cameras
    has exploded.“We don’t have tremendous peaks and valleys. People can
    delay (buying batteries) but can’t avoid it,” said John Twist, vice
    president of franchise and business development for Batteries Plus.
    “When discretionary income is strong, people buy more devices, and they
    still need batteries. When times are difficult and people are holding
    onto their current device longer, they need batteries.”Twist said the
    retail side of the business has grown more than the commercial market
    lately, with the overall business split at 60 percent retail and 40
    percent business-to-business.

    Opperman said his sales were up
    about 8 percent at the end of June compared with the same time last
    year. The trend is being recognized nationally because businesses and
    consumers are trying to make their products last as long as possible,
    according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based
    trade association.Offering to pick up old cartridges or batteries, or
    establishing a recycling outlet on site, keeps customers involved and
    coming back, noted Dan Butler, vice president of merchandising and
    retail operations for the group.“The reality is, most retailers are
    looking at whether they can reuse, recycle or repurpose any product or
    service to reduce or minimize the impact on the environment,” he said.