What Can A Candy Executive Teach Us?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage CalBRE #01165532
http://actvra.in/GLG

What Can A  Candy Executive Teach Us?


 

See's Candies --- Pasadena

I don’t normally read the obituaries but saw one this week that grabbed my attention.  Charles N. Huggins, a former See’s Candies executive died this week at the age of 87.   According to the Los Angeles Times obituary Mr. Huggins started his career at See’s Candies in San Francisco in 1951 as a manager in the company’s packing department and went on to become President and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 2006.   During his time he led the company to expansion to 200 stores primarily in the Western United States.

Ok, so what can a candy store executive teach us?   He had the final say when new candies were introduced and those which were to be retired(yes, retired candy -- who would have thought it was a term?).   It seems Mr. Huggins asked his store managers about slow sellers and based on their feedback discontinued Maple Walnut Creams.

Well, the uproar that ensued eventually caused him to admit the company had made a mistake and(according to the article) wrote letters and sent See’s Candies gift certificates to customers who had written letters of complaint.  The result of his act of contrition(please I mean no disrespect):  letters from customers offering thanks for the return of Maple Walnut Creams.     Charles Huggins was later quoted

“it’s easy to make customers for life”.

How often do we admit we have made a mistake?   How often do we say we are sorry?   How often do we correct a bad decision?   In real estate and in life --- I bet this would be appreciated -- what do you think?

Want to know more about See’s Candies?   Check the company website http://www.sees.com/

When you have a question or are just curious about real estate in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley as well as the Northeast Foothill communities within the city of Los Angeles contact me.   My name is Michael Jacobs - I am a Realtor and I can be reached at 818.516.4393 cell or michaeljacobs@coldwellbanker.com.  

 

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Rainer
41,701
Joe LaVallie
HomeStreet Bank - Mountlake Terrace, WA
111363

We all make mistakes, appoligise for a mistake, correct it, and move on

Aug 25, 2012 10:56 AM #83
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Realtor
HOM Sotheby's Intl Realty, 949-510-2395 - Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna Beach & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I love See's, but for years considered them competition. My grandparents had a candy store in Laguna Beach and made even better candy for years.

Aug 25, 2012 11:07 AM #84
Rainmaker
1,102,017
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Joe - indeed!

Karen - that's completely understandable.  I just read about a Realtor who along with her daughter took over a candy store in Glendora(in the San Gabriel Valley) -- it's nice to see these small businesses taking on a new life.  These independently owned operations create such a great ambiance in our communities.

Aug 25, 2012 11:39 AM #85
Rainmaker
1,463,117
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

Love those "ladder of success" stories and the lesson that reviewing what we do and how we do it continually is what fosters success.

Aug 25, 2012 11:50 AM #86
Rainer
16,478
Ken Urman
Ewing and Clark - Mercer Island, WA
Sees Candy is the best. Good products and service are usually associated with good, strong, humble people.
Aug 25, 2012 12:14 PM #87
Rainmaker
570,050
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Michael,  Do away with " Maple Walnut Creams " !?!?   Some store managers should have been canned !

Aug 25, 2012 12:57 PM #88
Rainmaker
284,685
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

Good story and even better life/business lesson!

Thanks!!

Aug 25, 2012 01:21 PM #89
Rainer
213,041
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

See's Candy is so delicious!  Smart man, people will trust a person who is willing to admit their mistakes and fix them.  

Aug 25, 2012 03:15 PM #90
Rainmaker
1,102,017
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Sally and David - me too!

Ken - it's definitely nice when it happens that way.

Bill - I see another who is in the pro-Maple Walnut Creme camp.

Travis - you are very welcome, thanks.

Doreen - the article said he eventually changed his mind but the fact is he did admit he made a bad decision and did something about it -- nicely done in my opinion.

 

Aug 25, 2012 03:25 PM #91
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663

Thanks Michael, great customer service lesson, I have never heard of See's before this and now I would like to find them and try these famous candies, especially the Maple Creams.

Aug 25, 2012 06:50 PM #92
Rainmaker
1,102,017
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Hi Bob -- See's Candies started on the West Coast but has over the years expanded and now through the internet is worldwide.   Check their website http://www.sees.com/ for store locations, product selection, online ordering and delivery plus all other kinds of fun stuff.

Aug 25, 2012 08:26 PM #93
Rainer
144,771
EMILIA B COOPER, REALTOR® SFR.NCHSE.AHWD
CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY - Orlando, FL
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Michael great post and lesson, Thank you for sharing!! I love See's Candies!!!

 

 

 

 

Aug 26, 2012 01:11 PM #94
Rainmaker
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Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Emilia -- it appears you are not alone in your affection for See's Candies.

Aug 26, 2012 03:23 PM #95
Rainmaker
1,281,099
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Be humble.  Good thing to keep in mind for many areas of our life.

Aug 26, 2012 08:33 PM #96
Rainmaker
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Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Gene -- no disagreement here.  

Aug 26, 2012 08:49 PM #97
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Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Westwood, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Very nice post and a way to show your own personal thinking about corporate and business acts.  Congratulations on your feature and your focus

Aug 27, 2012 07:11 AM #98
Rainmaker
1,102,017
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Larry -- thank you very much.

Aug 27, 2012 07:20 AM #99
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Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Michael, what a an inspirational post.  You really nailed it.  And, I wanted to be the 100th commenter on this amazing piece of history.  See's is an institution!

Sep 01, 2012 03:37 PM #100
Rainmaker
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Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Hi Suzanne -- glad to See you were the #100 comment for See's Candies.  Let's celebrate and break open a box, what do you say?

Sep 01, 2012 11:08 PM #101
Rainmaker
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Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

We all make mistakes. It's how you handle them that separates to men from the boys. Mr. Huggins got it right.

Nov 19, 2012 09:18 PM #102
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Michael Jacobs

PasadenaCA Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393
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