Careers at Things Remembered

MISSION

Things Remembered Inc’s principal mission is to provide satisfying products to its customers and a pleasant shopping experience, offering guidance, assistance, and last-minute gift solutions.

FOUNDING STORY

Things Remembered was first founded in 1967 under the name Can Do, operating as a subsidiary of Cole National Corporation, which also controlled Cole Vision, DBA Sears Optical, Montgomery Ward Visions, Cole Key Company, and several other retail businesses. 

While Cole National Corporation had a profitable period during the 1990s, the company’s performance slumped in the 1990s and it was forced to unload its unprofitable businesses, including Things Remembered.

Things Remembered was forced to restructure and rebrand, shifting its image away from a traditional gift shop to a store that specialised in providing personalised and engraved gifts, and tailoring its outlets to suit the needs and preferences of its core customer base. 

This rebranding included the renaming of store associates to ‘Gift Adviser’ to reflect the company’s renewed focus.  Things Remembered’s reorganisations proved successful, with the company meeting its sales projections in 1999 for the first time in a number of years.

Things Remembered has gone through several ownership changes.  In 2006, it was acquired by investment firms Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill and Co. and GB Merchant Partners for $200 Million. 

The chain was sold again in 2012 to Chicago based private equity Firm Madison Dearborn Partners for $295 Million. 

Things Remembered continues to focus on its personalised gift solutions and remains a popular retailer in its native US.

Business model of Things Remembered

Customer Segments

Things Remembered serves a wide range of customers across its core market in the US. 

The company reportedly has approximately 7 million active customers on file, with a further 8 million customers in its customer archive. 

The company serves three core business segments:

  • Wedding, comprising consumers, wedding planners, and wedding companies that are engaged in organising wedding events;
  • Business, comprising business professionals and small and medium-sized companies that require gifts for employees; and
  • General Consumer, comprising the general consumer population, specifically those seeking personalised gifts for friends, families, and events.

General consumer customers account for the bulk of the company’s sales, while wedding customers account for around 33% of sales.  Business customers account for approximately 16% of the company’s sales.

Things Remembered operates more than 400 stores across the US, its core market.  The company does not appear it have any overseas operations.

Value Propositions

Things Remembered provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Brand Recognition and Reputation – Things Remembered is an established retailer of specialty and personalised gifts, with a reputation dating back a number of years and a loyal customer base;
  • Broad Range of Personalised Gifts – Things Remembered is a specialist provider of personalised gifts for a wide range of customers and occasions, including weddings, birthdays, retirements, anniversaries, housewarmings, and graduations;
  • Affordable Prices – Things Remembered offers its personalised and tailored gift products to customers at affordable prices, making such gifts available to a broad portion of the general consumer population; and
  • High Quality Customer Service – Things Remembered prides itself on its high-quality customer service, with in-store members of staff on-hand to assist customers in finding appropriate gifts for their individual circumstances and needs.

Channels

Things Remembered serves its customers primarily through its network of brick and mortar retail outlets located at malls and shopping centres across the US. 

The company’s network currently comprises around 450 stores, at which the company employs sales personnel that are dedicated to working directly with customers to find appropriate gifts and products for all occasions.   

Things Remembered also operates a website at www.thingsremembered.com, through which the company operates an online shopping portal, where customers can browse products, designed personalised messages and signatures, and schedule home deliveries. 

The company has also launched storefront on online marketplace Amazon, through which customers are also able to arrange online orders.

While Things Remembered’s principal sales channels are its physical and digital retail outlets, the company also sells a portion of its products through traditional catalogue sales.

Catalogue sales can be organised via phone, email, or the Things Remembered website.

Customer Relationships

Things Remembered sells its products on a self-service basis through its online store and on a partially self-service basis through its physical retail outlets.

  The company seeks to establish lasting relationships with its customers, securing recurring business through its customer service and in-store assistance. 

The company additionally operates a dedicated customer support team that customers are able to contact with queries and complaints either over the phone, by online chart service, or via an online contact form. 

To encourage repeat business from its customers, Things Remembered also operates a rewards club, that enables regular customers to access rewards, gifts, and discounts through the company’s website. 

On its website, Things Remembered also provides order tracking services so that customers can trace the progress of their orders in real time.  The company additionally uses its website as a portal through which it can provide information on its products, shipping, and returns policies. 

Things Remembered operates social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn, through which it is able to interact directly with customers and publish company updates.

Key Activities

Things Remembered operates as retailer of personalised gifts and products. The company’s products include jewellery boxes, jewellery and accessories, gifts for children, drinkware, picture frames, homeware gifts, clocks, home and entertainment products, wedding essentials, office gifts, awards and plaques, and technology gifts. 

The company offers gifts primarily through its network of brick and mortar stores across the US, located primarily in shopping malls and retail centres.

The company also operates an online store and catalogue order service, through which it offers home delivery for its products.  Things Remembered was formerly known as Can Do.  It operates as a subsidiary of TRM Holdings Corporation.

Key Partners

Things Remembered works closely with a network of partner companies that help to ensure that the company operates efficiently and effectively. 

These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, including manufacturers and suppliers of products and merchandise that are sold across the company/’s network of stores, as well as third-party vendors of external services that support the company’s corporate activities more broadly;
  • Distribution and Storage Partner, including distribution and logistics companies with which the company works on maintaining and operating its warehousing and distribution activities and ensuring that the company’s stores are supplied efficiently;
  • Delivery Partners, including courier and postal service companies that help to fulfil the company’s online orders and home deliveries;
  • Marketing Partners, including various brands and marketing companies that work with the company in developing its brand and marketing its services to consumers in the US; and
  • Strategic Partners, including a range of other corporations and organisations that work with the company on a range of other projects, including in branding, community, retail, and development projects.

Things Remembered has partnerships with United Parcel Service and the US Postal Service regarding the delivery of its products to customers. 

The company has also partnered with Make A Wish Foundation, providing personalised holiday gifts the proceeds from which go to charity.

Key Resources

Things Remembered’s ability to differentiate itself from its competitors relies on its portfolio of products and gifts, its vendors and supply chain, its storage and distribution infrastructure, its network of retail outlets, its online store and website, and its personnel. 

The company in particular depends on the customer care provided by its personnel, and the ability of its staff to assist customers effectively in finding the right gift and to provide personalisation services. 

The company’s key resources also include its partnerships and its IT and communications infrastructure.

Cost Structure

Things Remembered incurs costs primarily in relation to its procurement of products and merchandise and the operations of its store network. 

This includes the operation and management of the company’s supply chain and network, the management of its inventory, the operation of its distribution and storage infrastructure, the payment of rental and utility costs across its network of stores, the development and maintenance of its online store and website, and the payment of salaries and benefits to its personnel. 

Things Remembered also incurs costs in relation to the management of its partnerships and the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure. 

Revenue Streams

Things Remembered generates revenue through the sale of personalised gift items and other products across its network of retail outlets and through its online store. 

The company derives its revenue primarily in the form of sales fees paid directly by customers. 

Things Remembered remains a privately owned company, and as such it is not obliged to publish its annual revenue figures online. 

Our team

Nelson Tejada,
Chief Executive Officer

info: Nelson Tejada (“Tejada”) has served as Chief Executive Officer at Things Remembered since June 2018. He is also the company’s President. Tejada leads and oversees the overall strategic direction of the company and functions as its principal decision maker. He previously served as Things Remembered’s Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, in which role he led the company’s store operations, following which he assumed responsibility for Things Remembered’s merchandise planning and allocation department. Tejada first joined Things Remembered in 2000 as Vice President and General Merchandise Manager. He left the company in 2009 to join Schurman Retail Group, where he served as Chief Merchandising Officer with global responsibility for 750 stores in the US, Canada, and the UK. He left Schurman Retail Group to rejoin Things Remembered in 2015.

Dave Helkey,
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer

info: Dave Helkey (“Helkey”) has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Things Remembered since 2016. He was additionally appointed the company’s Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Helkey is responsible for leading the company’s everyday operations, as well as overseeing the company’s various financial management operations. Helkey first joined Things Remembered in 2010 as Director of Financial Planning Analysis, and later served as Director of Merchandise Planning before assuming his current positions. Helkey began his career in 1995 in the audit department at Ernst and Young. From 2000, he served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Limited Brands, and in 2006, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Solantic Walk-In Urgent Care. Helkey moved to Accretive Solutions in 2008 in a consulting role, and prior to joining Things Remembered, served as Vice President of Finance at PARC Management LLC.

Alice Guiney,
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

info: Alice Guiney (“Guiney”) joined Things Remembered in 2013 as its Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer. In this role she is responsible for developing and executing human resource strategy in support of the company’s overall strategic direction. Guiney began her career as a long-serving employee of Macy’s from 1980 to 1992, including a spell as the company’s Director of Human Resources. In 1992 she joined Sunglass Hut International as Director of Human Resources, following which she served as Vice President of Human Resources at Dairy Mart Corporate, her last position before joining Things Remembered.

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