These blog postings are intended to give you ideas and support in your entrepreneurial journey. The road is not without its bumps, but together we can make the ride smoother!  I invite you to read my book, Specialty Shop Retailing: Everything You Need to Know to Run Your Own Store , published by John Wiley & Sons, for more information.

A special welcome to those of you coming to this blog through Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine! It has been my privilege to write for Gifts and Dec for over 15 years, and I am pleased to be able to keep in touch with subscribers through my blog as well as my regular columns.

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Clock face and christmas balls.Eve of new year.

In the world of music, quarter time usually indicates a waltz.  But in retailing, fourth quarter time means more of a jitterbug as we try frantically to keep up with the demands of our customers.  Since this week officially marks the start of the 4th quarter — Christmas in now just three months away — it is a good time to do some advance planning to help you get through the holidays as smoothly as possible.

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Plastic number ten

If you haven’t upped your game when it comes to customer service, you may face a real challenge trying to compete with online shopping options.  You need to give shoppers an in-store experience that surpasses sitting in front of a computer screen wearing p.j.s and having products magically appear on their doorstep the next day.

Here are ten ways you can make sure customers enjoy shopping at your store:(read more…)

32399 Amazon.

Here is yet another threat from the online giant that is already having a serious impact on large and small retailers: Amazon could be setting up a “locker” in the vacant storefront next door to your shop. According to the Amazon web site, “Amazon Locker provides….a self-service d … (read more…)