VOL. 119 | NO. 14 | Friday, January 21, 2005
Lansky Works for Memphis Customers
The Daily News
Hal Lansky isnt easily impressed by titles, though he wears
several of them. Lansky, incoming chairman of the Better Business Bureau of the
Mid-South board of directors, also serves as president of Lansky Brothers and as
a commissioner for the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
But he is not restricted, or defined, by these titles.
Im just somebody that wants to give back to the community
in which weve been so fortunate to have great success throughout the years, Lansky
Customers first. What
impresses Lansky is customer satisfaction. In his stores, located inside The
Peabody in Downtown Memphis, service is all about the golden rule: treating
customers the way he wants to be treated.
So as chairman of the BBB board, Lansky wants to keep
consumers informed about scams and unethical business practices.
There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there, he said.
But Lansky prefers to compete on a level playing field. To
him, that means doing what he can to weed out individuals who would take advantage
of and mislead consumers. He brings that philosophy and his business expertise to
his role as chairman of the BBB board.
Im in the trenches every day working with consumers, he
said. I hear complaints and I hear praise.
He remembers a particular customer who came into his store
but didnt purchase anything. As the man walked out of the store, Lansky
thanked him for stopping in. The man turned to look at him with a bewildered
expression on his face. What do you mean, thanks for shopping with you? I
didnt buy anything. The customer, from New York, said hed never been thanked
for shopping at a store at home, especially one where he didnt purchase
Fit for a king. As a businessman, Lansky knows its important
to treat customers as king. Literally.
Known across the globe as the Clothier to the King,
Lanskys has maintained a high-profile clientele over
the years. In their stores, he and his father have served customers including Elvis
Presley, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis.
But Lansky isnt star struck even customers who arent
celebrities are treated as such in his stores.
Family business. Lanskys
has a dominant presence in The Peabody. With five stores in the lobby area, the
company occupies much of the hotels retail space. Lansky Brothers, which has seen
many changes over the years, is still a family business. Hal and his father,
Bernard, work in the stores seven days a week and have worked together since
Hals childhood, when he came in after school.
Were workaholics, Lansky said. Thats all we know. We
like meeting and greeting customers.
While father and son manage day-to-day operations at the
stores, Geri, Hals wife, is a buyer for the Lanskys Lucky Duck Gift Shop and
daughter Julie manages the companys Internet presence and is a buyer for the
Lansky 126 store.
For Lansky, its all very simple.
I was reading something in the paper the other day, he
said. It was an old Chinese proverb that said the store owner who doesnt wear
a smile should not be in business.
Name: Hal J. Lansky
Company: Board of directors, Better Business Bureau
of the Mid-South
Basics: Whether working in the community or in his
familys line of stores, Lansky makes customer service a priority.