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Interview with Marc Joseph Author of the book “The Secrets of Retailing…or How to Beat Wal-Mart!”

Marc Joseph


With over 30 years in the retail and wholesale industry, Marc founded in 2001, which has become the premiere online Wholesale and Closeout Company helping small businesses compete against larger enterprises; offering over 140,000 high quality general merchandise products. Products sold through the site cover the same categories as Macy’s, Target and Wal-Mart and service over 2.5 Million registered users while averaging 1,100 new customers registering each day.

Marc began his career with Burdines, the Florida division of Federated Stores (now known as Macy’s). Spent 13 years as a buyer, merchandise manager and store manager, before going into small town retailing as a VP with the discount store Bill’s, a chain of 551 stores in the south which was the Wal-Mart for smaller towns. Jumped into the new concept of Dollar Stores with the 420 Everything’s A Dollar stores before joining Crown Book Stores as the Sr. VP of Marketing and Merchandising. Marc started his own chain of hair salons that grew to 11 stores before selling.

Synopsis of the book “The Secrets of Retailing…or How to Beat Wal-Mart!”

The book provides advice to independent retailers of all sizes on everything from the psychology of buying; to working successfully with suppliers; to marketing your business both locally and on the Internet; to hiring dedicated employees. In addition to explaining all the nuts and bolts of setting up a successful retail business, The Secrets of Retailing also provides a step by step prescription on how small businesses can compete against the chains in their area.

Why buy the book

With our current economic conditions, the black hole of marketing locally and on the Internet, and understanding today’s changed customer; the world of the entrepreneur starting a business is scarier than ever. This book helps you navigate starting and then running a successful business.

Why this book was written

Our customers inspired me to write this book. Entrepreneurs are an exciting part of our society. They work hard, are smart and take the chances that help this country to continue to grow. With the right information, entrepreneurs can lead us out of this recession; and my mission is to make our customers better than their competition, so writing this step by step guide on how to open and run a business was a natural extension of what I believe.

Do you have a blog

Yes, we have a blog. Here is a link: Originally, I was not sold on social marketing, especially since we are in the B2B space, not the B2C arena. But as I started to watch our customers interact with us on our blog, on Facebook and Twitter, I realized that this is a targeted way to get one on one with customers. Because we use our blog as a wholesale information forum rather than a hard sell of products, it helps show a different side of how we view doing business together. Here is also a link to our Facebook page:!/DollarDays


Of the 1,100 new customers a day who register with us, 20% come directly to the site rather than through a search engine or paid search. Our goal is to change that to 80% and then we will know our brand has some legs. Customers who come to us directly have heard about us through word of mouth from other satisfied customers or read about us on the Internet or possibly have read my book. I have spoken at several industry events and my favorite topic is using guerilla marketing on the Internet to drive traffic to your site. I also like to talk about competing against the big guys. PR is something that just builds up over time. You want to make sure your site is mentioned in blogs, in articles and in reviews. As long as you run your business always with the idea of taking care of your customer, the PR will follow.

Best advice I never got

As my generation was growing up, we were taught conformity, not individuality. I am left handed, and everyone wanted me to be right handed from the teachers to the golf coach. We were expected to finish high school, go on to college and become a doctor or a lawyer. No one advised me to follow my dream. So my advice to my 4 children is: follow your passion. Do what you love, not what I love.

What is the one thing you did right

I hired employees who show a passion for their work. Then gave them the opportunity to grow a part of your business with minimal interference. One of the hardest things for an entrepreneur is to let go even a small piece or function of their dream. But if you can have the right people in place, your dream can grow much faster.

What processes have you implemented that helped grow your company?
The Internet is a very cold place. You have no idea what kind of company is on the other side of your screen, because most companies communicate by email rather than a live person. We have taken the position that we want to take the place of the salesperson that you used to stop in your business and help you figure out how to make more money by carrying the right products at the right time at the right price. In today’s world, a company can’t afford to have salespeople stopping in on every mom and pop store for a $500 order. So our philosophy is the Internet has leveled the playing field giving small businesses a chance to compete; and our 20 inside sales people take the place of those who once stopped into their stores, and together we help them find the right products. So personalizing the business with knowledgeable salespeople is the process we put in place to stay ahead of our competition.

What is most satisfying about running your business?
Watching our customers businesses grow is the most rewarding moment in our business. We have been able to expose entrepreneurs and small businesses to products they normally would never see in the more traditional channels of distribution and because of this, they have more interesting products they can advertise and more ways to make money.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Initially suppliers did not want to deal with a company that only wanted to ship one case at a time. Suppliers were only interested in selling by the truckload or pallet. So we had to beg suppliers in the beginning to sell to us. Once suppliers realized we opened up another channel of distribution for them, where they did not have to worry about giving individual stores credit or tracking shipping, we became accepted in the marketplace.

If you were starting over today, what would you do differently?
Technology has come a long way over the last 10 years. I would tap more into what has been developed rather than relying on us developing our own.

What book(s) have you read that others should read?

Books about leadership, the Internet or history is where I focus. I thought “1776″ by David McCullough was spectacular and “Inside Larry & Sergey’s Brain” (Google founders) by Richard Brandt was a page turner. Most recently, I have read “Return of the Gold…The Journey of Jerry Colangelo and the Redeem Team” which is a modern day version of leadership and teamwork.

Marc Joseph
CEO & President
America’s Suppliers, Inc.
DollarDays International, Inc.
7575 E. Redfield Rd., Suite 201
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
866-Wow Prices or
866-969-7742 ext. 103
480-922-8155 ext. 103
480-922-3764 fax
The Secrets of Retailing… How To Beat Wal-Mart

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