I’m happy that you’re taking the time to read more about us. I started the company over 20 years ago and I still find it challenging and rewarding. In that time I’ve opened a variety of businesses here in Stowe, some of which I’ve sold since. But all have been a challenge and that’s the fun of being in business, the challenge of being profitable, of rewarding dedicated staff members and offering the public a great experience with great products. Stowe Mercantile has always been the flagship store through the years, it is the largest, most diverse and most well known store I’ve had. And with the help of a very dedicated staff, I know Stowe Mercantile will continue to grow and evolve further still.
I have taken excerpts from our Staff Handbook & Staff Manual to share with you here as I think this will give you a pretty good idea of who we are and what we try to accomplish everyday.
Owner & Founder
We believe that shopping should be fun and memorable!
Shopping in our stores is fun when our guests leave our stores with an experience that they want to tell their friends and family about.
This is achieved by us delivering superior guest service, offering unique and high value products in an exciting retail environment.
The 4 Fundamentals of Success for Sherman Enterprises Inc.:
- Great Staff
- Great Service
- Great Products
- Great Finance
Successfully implementing and nurturing these four fundamental elements of our company, Sherman Enterprises Inc. will exceed in meeting our goals to our guests and to ourselves.
We need to hire, train and retain people who believe in our mission. Our staff needs to believe and live our mission and our values. Each staff member must understand how their actions can impact our guests experience, impact the standing of our company our profitability and longevity.
We recognize the importance of having great staff. Great staff members are the backbone of the company.
Great Service is being aware of every guest in the store all the time and being prepared to assist them in any manner that makes their shopping experience fun, pleasant and memorable.
Examples of Great Service are:
- Greeting every person when they enter the store
- Offering a shopping basket
- Sharing product information with guests – even before they ask you!
- Making our guests smile
- Surprising our guests with something new, new product, new events…
- Carry their bags to their car
- Take their coat for them so they may shop comfortably
- Double bag their order if it is heavy
We offer great products! This is probably our best and most influential achievement to date. Our product offering is always changing, evolving and following market trends.
We need to be critically aware on a daily basis of the financial position of the company. Everyone must focus on our daily sales goals – everyone needs to know the goal everyday and then act in a manner that will achieve that goal. I guarantee you that when we meet our sales goals, since they are based on our known expenses; we will have profits and everyone will receive compensation for achieving these goals.
Every business needs to make a profit:
- Profits pay back loans
- Profits allow for increasing inventory levels
- Profits allow for staff bonuses
- Profits allow for capital improvements such as
- fixtures, lighting, new flooring, new computers, etc…
- Profits allow a company to grow into other areas of business
Every individual is valued and appreciated. Your commitment, your opinions, your decisions and even your mistakes are all valued. From these we all learn how to improve. These are all part of our success. The success of the company in turn creates the opportunity for each individual to be fulfilled and enriched; financially and emotionally.
Our guests are the lifeblood of our company. We realize that with each and every guest, we have the opportunity to improve and to grow the company. We achieve this by providing every guest with high value products and a superior and memorable shopping experience.
We pursue continuous improvement. We will strive to understand the requirements of our co-workers and customers; and then meet and even exceed those requirements.
- Have Fun:
We expect you to enjoy your job; if you don’t, why are you here? Loving what you do for work is critical to your happiness. And our guests will immediately be able to tell that you love your job and that translates to a better experience for our guests. So become our resident story teller, have a joke of the day, have a laugh with a guest everyday! Make your position fun! It’s really up to you!
The following two documents are posted in the store for our guests to read. We need to educate our customers about why and how we choose products as well as our pricing policy.
Our Pricing Policy
We focus on Great Staff, Great Products, Great Service and Great Finance. Our merchandise is priced to meet our need to run this business in a profitable manner. As with any company, as soon as we don’t make a profit, we have to borrow funds in order to remain in business; and if we go too long without profits, the business is no longer viable and we will have to close our doors.
Our prices are reflective of the high cost for some of our major expenses: rent, insurance, heat & electric, freight costs to receive our merchandise, property taxes and employment taxes.
We also have higher than normal labor costs for a retail business because we believe we need to treat our staff members as fairly as possible for the hard work they do every day here.
Our compensation package includes:
- Higher base wage than is standard for retail positions
- An additional $3.00 per hour differential pay for weekend hours worked
- Overtime pay for 11 holidays
- Fully Paid Health Insurance for each full time staff member
- Paid Time off
- Dramatic merchandise discounts on all the products staff members purchase
- Monthly Sales Gain bonus program
- Paid time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter – all days the store is closed
- Time off to attend Town meeting in March
- Paid Time off for Jury Duty service
- Marc Money for rewarding on-the-spot, in-the-moment staff excellence
Additionally, we are very active in supporting our communities. We support several charities and foundations, underwrite various student needs in 3 different school districts and invite anyone with a need to complete our donation request form.
Please consider these expenses as you browse. Certainly some of our merchandise can be found less expensively in other places. However, we believe that with every purchase you make here, you will appreciate that our business is working to make a difference in our staff member’s lives and in our communities.
We believe in having Great Staff, Great Products, Great Service and Great Finance.
We continually search for new, exciting and high value merchandise to present to you, our guests. We attend several trade shows each year, we have a host of sales people that call on us with new products and we subscribe to several trade journals – all in an attempt to keep our store merchandise looking fresh and exciting each time you return.
Many of our great food lines are produced right here in Vermont; others are produced in the other New England states. Many of the wooden ware products are Vermont made, Bennington Pottery is a well know Vermont company and much of our jewelry is crafted here.
We do our best to bring you locally made, high value products.
But in order to fill the store with the goods we believe you want to see and at prices that represent good value, we buy from companies all over the United States and Canada. And many of these companies have goods produced overseas.
These are the questions we consider when purchasing any product line for the store:
- Is it appropriate for our store?
- Is it aesthetically pleasing?
- Does it serve a useful function?
- Is the wholesale price able to support our operating margins?
- Does the projected retail price represent a high value to our guests?
- Where is the product produced?
- Does it compliment other products in our store?
- Is it a product that guests have been asking for?
- Is it too similar to other products in the store?
- Is the item being sold elsewhere in the village of Stowe?
- Are there at least two staff members that agree the new product line should be brought into the store?
Our conclusions to these questions result in an answer that determines whether or not to bring in a particular product. Feel free to contact us at… Stowe Mercantile PO Box 358 Stowe, Vermont 05672 or 1-802-253-4554 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org