Most store managers agree: the task of choosing the right products to sell carries with it a daunting connotation. After all, sifting through a smorgasbord of mind-numbing variables such as marketability, profit margin, consumability, popularity, quality, diversity and more requires some intense mental fortitude.
Call it what you will: an uncanny skill or a quasi-sixth sense enabling selection of stellar technology products for the stores. Whichever description you prefer, Ryan Lentz has it.
Ryan manages both of the Technology Powered by Smithville stores, located in Bloomington (Clear Creek Crossing) and French Lick. Since May 2012, he and his teams have transformed the stores into technology treasure chests.
“My momentum is fired up when a mom stops in on a whim, hoping to find something that will encourage her daughter’s love for coding and robotics,” says Ryan.
“Selecting quality technology products challenges me. The continuous play involved in finding the exact product fit for the local guy who comes in to pay his bill and shop keeps me energized. My momentum is fired up when a mom stops in on a whim, hoping to find something that will encourage her daughter’s love for coding and robotics,” says Ryan.
Who Else Wants the Best in Tech Products?
Technology Powered by Smithville stores carry (or carried) four of the five top products named earlier by a tech retail publication as moving the needle for tech retailers. Have a look at the top five winners below.
|Mobile Holders and Stands||Any guesses on the leading product in this category? One word. Three syllables. Rhymes with swap rockets. Popsockets win for the correct answer!|
|Smart Home||Doorbells, light bulbs, sensors. Offered in-store and online, Smart products such as the Skybell video doorbell, Smart LED bulbs, and the Champ water sensor alarm protect both our homes and families.|
|Instant Film/Cameras||Not found in our stores. Based on comments from industry advisor Stephen Baker of The NPD Group, the popularity of instant film and cameras continues to trend down.|
|VR/AR Hardware & Accessories||Available in our stores and online for watching 3D movies and playing video games, the Xtreme virtual reality headset provides hours of fun for kids.|
|Drones||Though Smithville previously carried drones, the market shifted and intentional inventory depletion occurred on this formerly trendy product. Now, drones take flight toward specific commercial opportunities and niche hobby markets.|
“When stacked up to the competition, our local stores are holding their own. I find that rewarding,” says Ryan. “Listening to customer feedback, regularly attending conferences and shows, and keeping an eye on what store products are moving contributes to that success.”
“At the end of the day, hitting a homerun depends on both play and work,” says Ryan.
The Secret to What Makes Ryan’s High-Tech World Fascinating
Outside of work, you may find Ryan at a baseball game cheering on his Cincinnati Reds. Passionate about fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of his grandma, Ryan participates in the annual Bloomington Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Generally, he enjoys the familiar and simple when it comes to food, like a tasty tenderloin or hot dog.
However, he occasionally trades in the familiar for something new like a cereal milk milkshake while making his annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. “At the end of the day, hitting a homerun depends on both play and work,” says Ryan.
Introduce yourself to Ryan and his team members when you stop by either of the stores to pick up your tech essentials.