My Blog “How do we do it? We buy right!” was the advertising slogan of a local appliance store for many years.  And buying is certainly key to the long-term success of any retail store, as good retailers all know.  Having the right merchandise on hand means that your customers will send their momey.  Having… Read More


Many shops lack focus — and narrowing in on your store’s primary mission can make the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive market.  I was fascinated by the fact that a quiz sponsored by The Oprah Magazine a couple of years ago entitled “Who are You Meant to Be” racked up 2.9 million… Read More


One has only to think back to the retail scene of 25 years ago to realize that things change continuously and dramatically in our field.  Back then, mail order catalogues were predicted to be the downfall of brick and mortar stores (a term that wasn’t even coined until 1992).  Especially in larger stores, displays were… Read More


“Buy American” is a great slogan, and an important means of bringing jobs back to the USA.  But unfortunately there is lingering doubt as to whether customers are willing to pay more money for an American-made product.  The challenge is to source products that are similar in price to imported goods, because it does seem… Read More


Whether you call them a sidewalk sign or an A-frame, you’ll find that people either love them or hate them — and the mayor of Madison, WI has decided that he hates them.  These signs have recently become a ubiquitous part of the landscape in most commercial areas, and there is no arguing that many… Read More


Here’s a new retailing term for you: showrooming.  According to article by Amy Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal, showrooming is "when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price." Amazon helped boost this trend last December when it… Read More


I grew up with the advertising slogan “Four out of Five Dentists Recommend Sugarless Gum to their Patients Who Chew Gum.”  Consumers were theoretically swayed to switch to Trident based on this strong endorsement, without questioning what the fifth dentist was thinking — that sugared gum was a good idea? You too can use statistics… Read More


“Getting local business back in the game” is one of the primary goals of a program call Main and Me, so new that it is still in its beta stage.  (The iPhone app is not yet live, but is expected any day now.) The program encourages shoppers to use photo-sharing to discover new places and… Read More


When you think of doing a color-based display, do you dismiss white as the absence of color? In truth it is, because although clear light is the absence of all colors, in pigment you can’t mix all your paints together to get white.  But using nothing but white in a display can create a powerful… Read More


There is a new player in the customer loyalty game, and games are in fact part of the appeal to consumers.  The program is called the Belly Card, and the company’s goal is to reinvent customer loyalty rewards through gamification and digital check-ins.  Belly is based on an in-store iPad, supplied by the company, that… Read More