TODAY WE’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ANNE MCGILVRAY.
Before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some background about the company.
We are here to help grow and manage retail businesses. We draw on our 45 years of experience to bring together the industry’s best vendors and a team of professional sales representatives to cover 7 showrooms across 44 states. Our sales force guides buyers toward products that differentiate one store from another. Our reps also ensure that customers take advantage of the many perks and specials being offered by our showrooms and our vendors. Their job is to make the buying process as fruitful and enjoyable as possible. Retailers turn to us for sales projections, product knowledge, trend management, and display suggestions. Retail buyers profit from our extensive list of show specials and of course, they can count on us for unprecedented customer service.
HERE ARE THE TOP TEN REASONS TO PARTNER WITH US TO GROW AND MANAGE YOUR RETAIL BUSINESS:
1. MORE THAN 115,000 SQUARE FEET OF AWE-INSPIRING PRODUCT ACROSS 7 SHOWROOMS.
2. OUR VENDORS REPRESENT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN A BROAD RANGE OF CATEGORIES. WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.
3. A TRAINED, PROFESSIONAL SALES FORCE OF OVER 130 STRONG AND GROWING.
4. AN IMPRESSIVE 60 PERCENT OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS HAVE BEEN WITH US FOR FIVE OR MORE YEARS. THIS MEANS LOADS OF EXPERIENCE HERE TO HELP MAKE PRODUCT CHOICES THAT FILL ALL MERCHANDISE NEEDS.
5. OUR TEAM COMBS NINE MAJOR GIFTS AND TOY SHOWS ANNUALLY TO KEEP ABREAST OF TRENDS.
6. WE HAVE OWNED TWO SUCCESSFUL RETAIL STORES IN DALLAS FOR OVER 20 YEARS. THIS GIVES US A RETAILER’S PERSPECTIVE, SO WE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE FACING ON THE FRONT LINES. THESE STORES ARE OFTEN TEST SITES FOR POTENTIAL VENDORS.
7. A FULL-TIME 800 LINE (800.527.1462 X1) TO ASSIST WITH ORDERS OR ISSUES WHEN REPS ARE IN THE FIELD.
8. A WEBSITE WHERE ORDERS CAN BE PLACED ANY TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT. WE KNOW THAT RETAILERS OFTEN HAVE TO BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL AND OUR WEBSITE ALLOWS FOR THAT CONVENIENCE.
9. GIFTS FOR OUR BUYERS AT EVERY SHOW. JUST OUR WAY TO SAY “THANKS”
10. ANNE MCGILVRAY HERSELF! YEAR AFTER YEAR, SHE HAS PROVEN TO HAVE BANKABLE INSTINCTS IN SPOTTING TRENDS AND CREATING A PORTFOLIO OF PRODUCTS UPON WHICH OVER 20,000 RETAILERS HAVE COME TO RELY. STOP BY TO MEET THE WOMAN THAT STARTED IT ALL IN 1975 WITH A BAG OF SAMPLES, A STATION WAGON AND A LOT OF GRIT!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for Anne?
Anne founded the company out of her basement almost 45 years ago in Minneapolis. From peddling games and cards out of the back of her station wagon to now having seven showrooms and reps in 44 states, she’s built an empire from the ground up. When Anne decided to buy a stand-along building in Dallas to call the corporate offices, other showroom owners told her it would be suicide. They told her nobody would visit outside of a trade mark, and that vendors wouldn’t follow. To date, Dallas and Las Vegas are the largest showrooms out of the eight, and Atlanta, the newest, trails close behind. Big risks have yielded big rewards– and Anne’s instincts have proven solid.)
What was Anne like growing up?
Anne will admit to being very shy. One would never know this walking into a showroom filled with such bright, loud, interactive, and often over-the-top gifts and gadgets. If you were to meet Anne on the street, you would walk away thinking of her as a sweet grandma. Her nickname is “Grandma Whimsy,” and she is the nicest person you’ll ever meet. Most people are very surprised to see an 80-year old grandmother as the powerhouse and backbone of a nationwide company like Anne McGilvray & Co., they usually express surprise and say they expected a lady in a power suit. Anne is as genuine and witty as the products she sells every day.