May 6, 2009
Area store thanks customers dollar at a timeBy Tim

Storm Lake, Iowa – When Molly Wilson lived in the Twin Cities, there were days she’d visit a store three times. Nobody bothered to say “Hi.”

“We were all rats driving down the interstate,” she says of a glum memory.

Things have changed for Wilson, who co-owns Sugar Bowl Gift Shop with husband Mike Kohler in downtown Storm Lake. On a recent chilly morning, she meets every customer at the store’s front door and hands them a crisp $1 bill. She then pulls out a gift bag for discount awards.

She has 500 bills to give away, 500 customers to greet and serve.

“This is a way to give back to our customers, to thank them for the business they do with us,” says Wilson, 34. “We call it our own little Sugar Bowl Economic Stimulus Package.”

OK, so she isn’t releasing billions with the stroke of a pen to rev up the economy. It’s the principle.

“Hey, this is my lucky day!” exclaims customer Kathy Schwaller of Storm Lake who picks up a bridal shower gift for her daughter. “The discount I got helped me pay for my daughter’s present. Anything will help when you’re planning a wedding. Especially when you’re paying for it.”

“I don’t know where she dreams up her promotions, but I sure like them,” says customer Monica Smith of Storm Lake. “I’m too old to think outside the box!”

Read complete article.

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