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


A blog describing Hay as a cool Copenhagen concept store made me realize that I didn’t really know what was meant by that term.  According to Insider Trends, a concept store “is a shop that sells a carefully curated and unique selection of products that connect to an overarching theme. Often they evoke a lifestyle… Read More


If you ever feel in need of inspiration, or indeed are in despair about the future of retailing, treat yourself to a leisurely visit to The Shopkeepers website.  There you will find what has been described as “a carefully curated online collection of the best that the world has to offer in independent shops.” In… Read More


One way to stretch your inventory dollar is to purchase on consignment, which means you don’t pay unless the product sells. The risk of stocking the merchandise is thus placed on the vendor, not the store.  Goods sold on consignment usually have a lower markup than merchandise purchased outright, so your profit margin will often… Read More


There has been much discussion across the nation about raising the minimum wage, which would have a big impact on independent retailers (see Minimum Wage, Maximum Concern). Lawmakers in the state of Oregon are now considering additional legislature that would have a trickle-down effect on smaller shops, although at the moment it is aimed at… Read More


You can’t talk about retailing today without the term “omnichannel” being mentioned.  This means offering all the various methods of shopping available to consumers today in one integrated operation.  In reality, however, there are really only two viable options: online and in-store sales.  So you need to decide at some point if you want your… Read More


“It is time to stand up for fair and equal rights for all by letting our leaders know that we demand Marriage Equality!” the popular ice cream chain Ben & Jerry’s announced in Australia last month.  And in order to make their views known, they banned two scoops of the same flavor in their 26 Australian stores… Read More


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