There is a long-standing tradition of night markets or bazaars in many Asian countries — in fact in A.D. 836 the Tang Dynasty in China felt it was necessary to put strict sanctions on the operations of these markets.  Modern visitors still enjoy strolling through the darkening streets while sampling food from various vendors and… Read More


Move over, BOGO (Buy One, Get One free).  The new retail acronym in town is BOPIS, which stands for Buy Online Pickup In Store.  This is part of the movement towards bricks and clicks retailing in which a physical store also has an online shopping cart. At first glance it is puzzling to understand why a… Read More


You may remember the excitement around the requirement that all US retailers upgrade to EMV credit card readers by October, 2015. Some payment networks said they were going to implement a shift that would increase the amount that those accepting credit cards were liable for in the event that a card was fraudulent if the store… Read More


Despite the use of browsing to refer to the Internet — have you emptied your browser cache lately? — and the negative connotations of “No, I’m just browsing,” I think this is one of the finest activities that a specialty shop can offer. Most people go to an art museum open to the possibility of… Read More


A one-year old Brookline, MA startup designed to help small businesses send customers to each other raised $3 million in seed funding in 2016. And although Nift (www.gonift.com) is still in beta mode and focused on 500 Boston-area brick and mortar, service and local online stores, the hope is that the model will expand nationally. The… Read More


Over 21 billion dollars was spent by Americans on Mother’s Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a hefty (and inexplicable) increase over the 15.7 billion spent in 2012.  How will you get your share of this growing market?  While 33% of the spending was in department stores, 23% was in local shops and… Read More


If you’ve ever looked at reviews of your store on a site like Yelp, you know how much a negative one can hurt.  So it’s no wonder retailers haven’t been pressing for a site where employees can publicly review their jobs — but it turns out that such a site already exists.  I was looking… Read More


Macy’s has recently announced that it is laying off 10,000 workers, and J C Penney is closing up to 140 stores.  This is not great news for those of us watching the health of retailing in the US, especially since one of the reasons given in a recent article in The Guardian is that “people… Read More


The ipsy subscription box program now has over a million young women waiting by the mailbox every month for a Glam Bag of cosmetic samples, each chosen by a beauty expert to match their skin, eye and hair color.  Companies submit hundreds of products each month in the hopes of getting these “try before you… Read More


When the gift show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart folded, I took the loss hard. For almost 40 years our semiannual trip to “the Mart” had played an important part in our buying — and I’d been a speaker at the shows there for over a decade.  I loved the fact that this historical building… Read More