Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011 - (Page 70)

Retail US CAVALRY STORE Serving Those Who Serve A streamlined catalogue, upgraded website and expanded distribution center give this military retailer the ability to serve its customers. distributed to millions in the military and law enforcement and supported the branding of the US Cavalry name. During times of war, the catalogue was a staple in most military posts and around the world. As time went on and e-commerce became a more popular way to reach consumers, US Cavalry evolved the purpose of its catalogue to keep the pace. “The catalogue is now used to drive people to the web,” Leonard says. “The catalogues we send out, their style and their scope, is based upon the changing needs of our consumers, and we realized we needed to change our approach.” To start, US Cavalry pared down the catalogue and went to what Howell refers to as a “Slim Jim” format in 2009. He says before the economy took a downturn, printing prices skyrocketed, so with the new approach, the company continues to see an equal and even better ROI than before the redesign. “The mail order and e-commerce pieces of our business are symbiotic,” he notes. US Cavalry’s e-commerce and catalogue sales make up for 40 percent of its revenues, about 10 percent more than they did prior to the catalogue redesign but also due to the company’s revamped website. When it first launched, the site had rudimentary navigational elements and not much else. In the past few years, to compete with e-com giants such as Amazon, the company added new elements to keep up with industry trends. “We put a lot of emphasis on video, product-360s, and putting additional content on the site so it’s not just bulleted text,” Howell says. Jim Leonard Headquarters: Radcliff, Ky. hen US Cavalry Store opened its first location 38 years ago, it did so with one goal: to fill a gap. Prior to the store’s opening, military members had two venues to purchase what they needed: government clothing and sales stores and pawnshops. The government stores were often out of stock, and pawnshops provide only secondhand goods. With the creation of US Cavalry Store, soldiers now had a way to get what they needed when they needed it and also an opportunity to upgrade the equipment they were issued. Brian Howell, director of e-commerce and marketing at US Cavalry Store, says often the lowest bidder on the government contract provides the equipment and apparel issued to those in the service. W Fast and efficient Whether online or off, both Howell and Leonard believe US Cavalry’s competitive advantage stems from its ability to bring the products its customers want to them efficiently. “We try to be a one-stop shop to anyone who needs our equipment, no matter what it may be or where they might be,” Leonard says. Over the past few years, the company has taken on large government contracts and now caters to The extra mile After the success of its first store in Radcliff, Ky., across from Fort Knox, US Cavalry Store developed its first catalogue. Jim Leonard, president of the company, says it was the first in the industry to have glossy pages, high-quality paper and product images. For the first decade-and-a-half, the catalogue was 70 September/October 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011
Will mCommerce Make Black Friday Green?
Ho, Ho, Ho!
The Look
Category Insight
Back to Business
PGA Tour
Kathy Ireland Worldwide
Ludorum - Chuggington
Monopoly - Hasbro
Coast Guard Exchange System
University Book Store Inc.
U.S. Cavalry Store
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Chino Valley Ranchers
Freeman Beauty Labs
New & Noteable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011