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Expert to share ways to compete with big retailers
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If Walmart abandons its current Ceres store to erect a larger Walmart Supercenter at Service and Mitchell roads, existing businesses may suffer. But an expert who will be in town next week says merchants can do much to hold onto their business.

Consumer psychologist Dr. Bruce D. Sanders, author of "Retailer's Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology," is being brought to make a free "Competing with Large Retailers" seminar for business owners and managers. The event is courtesy of the Stanislaus Economic Development & Workforce Alliance. The workshop will meet at the Ceres Community Center at 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 19 and targets owners/operators of small to midsize retail businesses in Ceres.

"In the seminar, I'll present specific tactics supported by both shopper psychology research and retailing experience," said Dr. Sanders.

Alliance CEO Bill Bassitt noted at a seminar held last month in Ceres that small businesses can compete by remaining competitive and pricing and offering great customer service. Bassitt said the Alliance is interested in coaching small businesses to compete, should the Ceres city government approve the Walmart application.

"Customer service is something that will win every time as long as you know how to go about it," said Bassitt.

The Supercenter - an anchor of a proposed Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center - was approved by the Ceres Planning Commission last week. The project is likely to be appealed, placing another decision before the Ceres City Council.

To sign-up call 567-4910.