The manager at our neighboring Trader Joe’s was firing up the grill on Saturday to treat his staff to brats (it’s a Wisconsin thing).  I asked was the occasion was, and he said they had just gone 90 days without an injury.  We don’t think of retailing as being inherently dangerous, but his statement got… Read More


It sometimes seems as if Amazon is trying to take over the retailing world.  Those of us arriving at the Javits Center for last month’s NY NOW show were surprised to see big door signs advertisements as we entered for ‘Selling on Handmade at Amazon.’ And although this program debuted in October, 2015, the fact… Read More


Most of us look to importers and manufacturers for readymade goods for our store, perhaps also occasionally buying from a local maker set up to sell wholesale.  But it can be fun to be in on the ground floor, helping someone take a good idea from the concept stage to your store’s shelves. Lori Greiner… Read More


The concept of the wholesale gift show was born in Chicago in 1921, with trade shows held downtown every February and August.  So it has been a particularly sad turn of events that Chicago lost first the long-lived GLM show at McCormick Place, then the robust Chicago Gift Show at the Merchandise Mart, and finally… Read More


A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a far cry from the latest trend in retail promotions, a GNO — which stands for Girls Night Out.  There is one thing that they have in common, however, and that is that a GNO almost always includes the opportunity to achieve a (slightly) modified mental state through… Read More


The shopping days following Thanksgiving weekend are now commonly known as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — so it was only matter of time until a group claimed Sunday for its own. The Museum Store Association has just announced an effort to have it named Museum Store Sunday.  The event is subtitled… Read More


I think we’d all agree that some people are more influential than others, especially online. And it turns out that there is now a whole science of “influencer marketing” that focuses on these individuals rather than a larger target market, because socially-inspired shoppers trust the opinion of people considered to be trend setters. Influencers are… Read More


Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what your shipping costs are going to be, no matter how big or small your order? I’ve only seen two of our vendors offering a flat rate on wholesale orders, but I hope it’s a trend that is going to spread.  Compendium, a forward-thinking supplier of stationary, cards… Read More


I hope you never need the advice in today’s blog, but the fact is that many shops (like the Northern Music & Video store in Potsdam, NY shown in the illustration above) do eventually close.  Sonia Mott, who was a fellow retail advisor to the Gift and Home Trade Association, has gone out of business… Read More


Are you finding it more challenging to find good employees?  Gone are the days when we would get dozens of applications for every opening.  Happily the days are also gone when we would pay the newspaper an exorbitant fee for a classified help wanted ad in an impossible-to-read 6 pt. type.   We now mostly… Read More