Semi-annual sales have been a part of the Playmakers legacy since the doors opened in 1981. And we are as excited today and we were then as we get ready for our 76th sale!
There has been quite an evolution from the early days. Our once downtown East Lansing store boasted several 6-foot folding tables that held stacks of shoe boxes for customers to dig through in hopes of finding the perfect shoe. Then in the mall, we stored all of our back stock footwear on a steel grid, second level. After a customer selected a shoe to try, floor staff would venture the back room and toss the single shoe up the stairs to “shoe runners”. From there, the runners would quickly retrieve the full pairs and would proceed to toss them down to the main floor. Some were better than others at tossing the shoes up the stairs and catching the shoes on the way down. What can I say…hand eye coordination is not always a specialty for runners/walkers.
The mission of Playmakers has remained consistent over time, innovation and constant improvement has been a staple in accomplishing our goal of an “Enjoyable and Productive” experience for everyone involved.
A Few Key Innovations Over The Years Include:
Shoe Coding System: We have a shoe coding system to help staff locate the “mate” shoe that a customer wants, in a sea of 29,000 pairs of shoes that we have stored in back.
Sale Staff Recruiting and Retention: Each sale, we send an invite to approximately 300 experienced Playmakers Sale staff members. This year, Playmakers will have 200 of these staff members round out the schedule to ensure that you have a friendly face to help you find what you seek. There are also lots of hands on deck behind the scenes and helping everything run smoothly in the parking lot! I might be a little biased...but, our temporary staff is REALLY good!
Not to mention our core staff! The sale requires a large amount of preparation, organization and efficiency. It is truly a “all hands on deck” occasion! Our staff members work in unison with temporary staff to make sure that the sale runs smoothly and all of our customers have an exceptional experience. It’s also an exciting reunion when core staff reconnect with veteran sale staff since seeing them last - lots of hugs and high fives!
Your Favorite Products on Sale: We work hard with our vendors to ensure that we have your favorite brands and products at the sale. This is a result of many years of discussions, strategizing, and planning. In the end, having your favorite shoe, apparel item, or accessory is very important to us! (Note: Of course, sometimes supply and demand prohibits us being successful 100% of the time.)
Easier Checkouts: Our latest innovation for the summer sale is a new checkout location. Last year, we introduced a 3,300 square-foot community space that is used for race packet pick-ups, events, Team Playmakers meetups, and staff meetings. When summer sale planning rolled around, we wanted to create more room for product, seating for guests, and counter space! With that said, the Community Room will be used as the point-of-purchase at sale! When you are ready to make your sale purchases, head on over to the Community Room where you will find several counter options for checkout.
When you arrive at the Playmakers sale, we hope you instantly sense the excitement and lively nature of the sale. We also hope that you find the sale organized, efficient, and plenty of staff to assist you. Our goal is that you experience more than just a retail shopping trip, but ultimately, a community event! We have found that many people come every day of the Sale to see what’s new and who else they might be able to run into. I’ve even encountered families planning their family trips and reunions around the Playmakers Sale dates! How cool!
If you see John, Brian, or myself running around during the Sale, please wave us down. We would love to say helloand make sure that your experience is exceptional. Because without a great community who supports their local businesses, there wouldn’t be a Playmakers Summer Sale. Thank you for being the most important part of the Playmakers Sale.
Oh, and I can't forget...be sure to grab an ice cream bar on your way out of the sale. It is tradition!
Tom Keenoy started working at Playmakers in 1993 and has been a co-owner since 2008. His go-to Summer Sale fuel is veggies...or brownies. New Balance 1080 is Tom's shoe of choice!