Area retailers are meeting on a monthly basis to discuss issues of a common interest.
Called Retailer’s Roundtable, it began in May and is taking the place of the Hometown Program.
The next meeting is set for 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bill Zimmerman, of Office Outfitters, will lead the round-table discussion about how to use Facebook and the Internet to grow sales.
The discussion will be informal, with a personal computer and projector available so that participants will be able to demonstrate features of their own Facebook pages or websites that have been effective.
Those having difficulty using Facebook will also have the opportunity to seek help.
It will be the fourth such meeting held this year as part of the new program.
Anita Olson owns Embellishments on North Main Street in Waupaca and was instrumental in getting Retailer’s Roundtable started.
“After the Hometown Program was discontinued, those attending felt the void of not seeing each other,” she said. “We all were coming and working together and getting to know each other on a different level.
The Hometown Program incorporated the various retail areas in Waupaca and King.
Retailer’s Roundtable does so as well – welcoming all area retailers to attend the monthly round-table discussions.
Chamber membership is not required, with Retailer’s Roundtable being held in cooperation with the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
Those wanting to be added to the e-mail list for Retailer’s Roundtable may call the chamber at 715-258-7343.
Topics discussed thus far include shoplifting, store hours, ideas for shared promotions and events, and a discussion last month with city Administrator Henry Veleker about city ordinances related to what may and may not be put outside of retail establishments.
Olson said an offshoot of the June discussion at The Paint Store about shared promotions and events were follow-up meetings for discussion about how retailers can support and promote the fourth annual Arts on the Square Aug. 20-21 on the city square.
The result is Chalk of the Town, a chalking workshop that will be held 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, in front of the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Throughout that week, there will be chalking of the sidewalk in front of stores, with a Wau-King Art Tour planned for Wednesday, Aug. 18, when there will be artists in residence at stores in Waupaca and King.
Olson is planning the programs for the first six months of Retailer’s Roundtable. Future topics will include customer service and how to cut energy costs.
The idea is for the retailers to own the program and to choose the subjects.
Programs will be held through November of this year – they will take the month of December off. “Then, we will decide in January where to go from here,” she said. “Every time, we see new people.”
Terri Schulz, president of the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, describes Retailer’s Roundtable as “an hour to get together where small retailers can talk about issues that they find to be hot topics.”
Open to businesses throughout the area, the group meets at different locations, Schulz said.