The holiday season is about to start in earnest, which means that for most of us there will be many more shoppers in the store than normal.  All of our preparation — buying merchandise, hiring and training staff, creating displays and promotions — culminate in these busy few weeks of sales. To use a sports… Read More


The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of our favorite places to visit.  We have been there in the winter, spring, summer and fall, and found that with the changing seasons there is always something new to see. But this year we stopped by in November, on a day that fell in between fall and winter. … Read More


My favorite subject back in first grade was called show and tell.  This grade school version of Toastmasters encouraged even the shyest children to get up and talk about something they’d brought from home.  Perhaps it was the future retailer in me that made me curious about what the other kids found attractive in the… Read More


“Past due” are not happy words to hear when it comes to invoices from your vendors.  At this time of year, as we build inventory for the hopefully busy holiday season, it is easy to fall short of funds.  How can you pay all these bills as they come due? Ideally, you have planned ahead… Read More


It’s an almost irresistible heading on a website: Testimonials.  Click on the link, and you get to see nice things said about the business by people we assume are real, even though they are often just identified by a first name and last initial.  These testimonials are short, heartwarming and sometimes witty — and we… Read More


Have you heard about the latest blurring of lines between online purchases from Amazon and the bricks and mortar world of retailing? Starting this month, Kohl’s has announced that customers will be able to use 82 of their locations for BARIS — my term for Buy from Amazon, Return in Store. In an official statement,… Read More


You may have never heard of Farfetch, but the site achieves approximately 10 million visits per month, and ships to customers in almost 190 countries. The global luxury fashion platform (“The world’s greatest selection of luxury”) was established in 2007 by José Manuel Ferreira Neves, a British-based Portuguese businessman. In an interview in The Daily… Read More


The busiest shopping day of the year is traditionally said to be the day after Thanksgiving, dubbed Black Friday in honor of stores “getting in the black” and making a profit starting that day. Those of us who love the origin of words and phrases will be interested to know that Black Friday actually started… Read More


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