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Kathy Todd Reeves
Retail Director
DeKalb Medical
Decatur, Ga.


What goal do a nationally known tourist attraction and a regional health system have in common? Increased retail sales. Officials at DeKalb Medical, with 627 beds on three campuses, define retail as more than just magazines and last-minute bouquets. Kathy Todd Reeves, former director of retail operations for Colonial Williamsburg, tells how DeKalb is getting more ka-ching out of its cash registers.

Reeves: Our new women’s center was completed in January, and the Mother and Baby Boutique and Lactation Center is on the floor where mothers go after their babies are born. We have seven lactation consultants, and they are always bringing people here and showing the merchandise.

In the main gift shop, we’ve expanded into handbags and accessories. Here in Georgia, football fever is pretty much 12 months a year, so we’ve added collegiate merchandise. People looked at me like I was crazy, but we can’t keep it on the shelves.

The majority of purchases are made by the employees. We have 4,000 employees, and they don’t have time to go out and shop. They do their shopping here if they can.

We have two new stores slated for next year--a general store and possibly an oncology shop, which would carry prosthetics and wigs. Things in the new general store will be pick-up items. We have even talked about having a cooler with milk and eggs. We might carry some gourmet foods.

If I can make a buck, we’re going to go there.

—Lola Butcher