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


The sign on the public restrooms at Antigone Books in Tucson, Arizona says “You can’t order these on Amazon.com!”  A witty acknowledgment that independent retailers offer many valued services not available online. Competing on price alone is a game that small shops are bound to lose. But customer service is where we can really shine,… Read More


The odd ghost outline logo of Snapchat is starting to turn up everywhere, but Snapchat is still not on the social media radar of most independent retailers.  Since the company is a rising star in this field, it is probably a good idea to know something about it. If nothing else, this will help raise… Read More


You may think that what goes on inside your store is the most important factor in determining its success, but in fact customers finding parking outside your door also plays an important role. And this is a factor that you can sometimes influence, with the help of your elected officials.  You should make sure that… Read More


One of my favorite Valentine cards from years past said something like “if you’ll help me get through February, I’ll help you get through March.”   No matter what side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, there is no question that this winter is a tough time for our country — and especially… Read More


One of the buzzwords in retailing today is the use of the word “curated” to describe a selection of merchandise.  The person who selects these goods would logically be described as a curator, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially one in charge of a museum, zoo, or… Read More


Amazon Go is the latest attempt by this giant firm to revise the future of retail. The idea behind Amazon Go is that customers can walk into the store, scan the QR codes of the items they want, and leave without any checkout procedure. Their purchases are automatically posted to their Amazon account.   The… Read More