Mr. Good News Comes A’Calling–or, How We Came Up With the Good News About Retailing Name

Good News About Retailing LogoAs we approach our 10th anniversary, we’ve been talking a good deal about the early days at The Armarium Press. One of the questions we’ve been asked most over the years (other than “so, what is an armarium?”) is how we came up with the name for the good news about retailing series.

In fact, we didn’t come up with the name at all. It just came to us. We’d been talking about how negative some of the other how-to business guides had been of late. Especially those which described their readers as “dummies” or “idiots.” Eddy Kay’s books promised to educate with words of inspiration and promote ideas that would instill real hope and change for small-business owners. There was a good reason he’d been dubbed Mr. Good News by his happy clients a long time back.

Years ago, when he was a sales rep, Eddy Kay stopped in to see a client who wasn’t seeing anyone that day–especially reps. As he relates in Thriving in the Shadow of Giants, after trying to persuade the owner’s counter clerk to let him in to see the boss, Kay said to the fellow, “Tell him it’s me.” To the clerks’ astonishment, the boss said to let him in.

“Ed, I’ll always see you. You’re good news!” Great praise for a sales rep.

The store owner appreciated that Kay’s attitude was always one of “how good life is” rather than harping on “how far behind I am on my sales commitment.” Whatever sort of day this independent retailer was having, he knew Eddy Kay–with his corny jokes and infectious smile–would be a source of cheer. Because of the relationship Kay had developed with him over the years, the store owner set him apart from the deluge of vendors crowding his door daily.

It was from this real-life tale we coined the “good news about retailing” series title and crowned Eddy Kay its herald.

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