The predatory nature of Amazon has led more than one retailer to the words of the famous Serenity Prayer: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. A recent article in Isthmus by Jim Hightower outlines the… Read More

The world of private labeling (PL) has an identity problem. On the one hand you have stores with a great reputation putting their names on products that fit their prestigious image, and on the other hand you have big box store brands offering private label merchandise as inexpensive (basically generic) alternatives to major brands. The… Read More

More and more retailers are having their employees ask shoppers to go online to fill in a customer satisfaction survey when they get home.  I’ve asked whether this information garners any benefits to the person handling my transaction, and often the response is that the individual can get a special recognition if they have a… Read More

Life does not always go smoothly for those we care about, and this includes members of our staff.  The way that your store handles a crisis in the life of an employee can have a long-time impact on how that individual feels about working for you. When you hear about a staff illness or medical… Read More

The Pinterest boards for Eggshells Kitchen Company, “the kitchen store for foodies in Little Rock, Arkansas”, led me to their excellent store blog.  My favorite “blog-shell” is the one shown on the right entitled Top Six Wedding Gifts. What do I like about it? For starters, it is mostly crisp, colorful photographs — which ties… Read More

The Grommet had a large exhibit in the lobby of the recent NY NOW gift show — and as the company literature promised, this meant that you could “purchase and manage orders from multiple Makers in one place.” So what is a Maker?  This relatively new term refers to a craftsperson or artisan who creates… Read More

Have you checked your CRM lately? For the uninitiated: CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  It’s basically what we used to call “personal service” back in the old days, in other words doing your best to get to know your customers and keeping in touch with them so that they’d come back often. Today’s CRM… Read More

The issue of independents vs. chain stores is not unique to the US, and this news clip from BBC entitles “Can independent shops save the High Street?’ indicates.  The High Street (Main Street to us Yanks) is facing serious challenges: according to the statistics quoted in this article from last year, more than one out… Read More

BEST BLOGS       A retailer’s time is always at a premium, which makes me very grateful that you are finding a few minutes to read this blog.  But even in the 250 or so blog postings that I’ve written since starting six years ago, I can’t possible touch on the entire range of issues facing independent… Read More

A SWEET VISION        Do you sell merchandise in your store?  I’m willing to guess that you do, because the very definition of a shop is “a place of business for retailing goods.” When three friends from the Georgetown University decided to open a restaurant called Sweetgreen, they of course planned to sell food. But according… Read More