A Better Deal rebrands, upgrades merchandise

Published 5:49pm Friday, December 27, 2013
Tommy Perry, owner of A Better Deal (photo submitted by Mark Schmerling).
Tommy Perry, owner of A Better Deal (photo submitted by Mark Schmerling).

Tommie Perry, owner of A Better Deal, said the most common phrase he hears from shoppers is “you sell a little bit of everything,” to which Perry replies, “Well, I try.”
Perry’s efforts are paying off as he closes the year with a book of business nearly twice of what it was last year.
“It appears to be much steadier in the colder months than during the summer when we rely more on a tourist clientele,” said Perry.
The 40-year old father of four, originally from Pohokee, Fla., had a career background far from retail but wanted something different. Perry attended Isothermal Community College and earned a degree in mechanical drafting technology and then went on to work for Mohawk Industries for more than 15 years as a supervisor in product development.
“I just wanted to do something different, so my wife became our bookkeeper and we both got into the retail business,” said Perry.
These days Perry is in the midst of rebranding a message that suggests that A Better Deal is not to be thought of as just a discount store where people consider the inventories as being inexpensive and of lower quality. In fact, Perry is considering changing the name of their store, which would convey a department store message.
“My goal is to sell high quality products at prices below suggested retail and make it up on volume. We want to provide high quality, everyday items where people don’t have to drive 20-miles to procure,” said Perry.
If there is a barrier to growth that Perry must wrestle with, it would be that people sometimes have an aversion to walking into a simple discount store.
For this reason, Perry gradually has been changing his business model from an almost 100-percent overstock format to a store that sells primarily items directly from well-known manufacture’s. Now only 15 percent of the products in inventory remain in the overstock model.
“We are now certified dealers for Fiesta, Nordic Ware, Oneida and WoodWick, and we also strive to carry products which are made in America,” Perry said.
He also stocks what he considers healthier, higher quality Thompson’s Candles with scents of authentic, true–to–life fragrances.”
Perry extends his retail footprint beyond the 20-mile surrounding Tryon deep into cyberspace with a presence on eBay and Facebook. Not only does Facebook provide an online forum for showcasing their constantly changing seasonal items, but the high quality pictures provide a convenient preview platform for customers near and far.
Perry says Facebook has also been helpful with increasing their visibility from local to a regional perspective as people from far away now drop in to shop.
“We have people coming into our store saying that they found us on Facebook,” said Perry.
He said that the store has also gained increased marketing traction from the promotional capabilities of social media at large and has seen our number of “likes” on Facebook increase to more than a thousand clicks in just three months.
Regardless of the mode of marketing Perry employs, he admits that it’s the local customer experience which pays off in the long run and spreads the word of price, convenience and quality to communities near and far. A Better Deal is located at 354 S Trade St, Tryon and can be found on Facebook or calling: 828-859-0161

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