Every four years retailers in the US are faced with a challenging time as the public’s attention turns to the presidential election.  Although the impact may not be as bad in a year when an incumbent is on the ballot, we can see already this year is shaping up to be a difficult one for many stores… Read More

The 4th of July seems like an appropriate day to consider the challenge retailers today face in sourcing American-made products.  We  just got word that Peggy Karr Glass will be closing at the end of this month. We of course wish Peggy and Tim Karr all the best in their retirement, but the loss of… Read More

“Retail has a savior and, ironically, it’s a new type of technology,” according to Kenny Kline in a Huffington Post blog. And what is this new technology? Small devices called Bluetooth beacons, which can communicate wordlessly and wirelessly to customers as they walk past an enabled display.  These beacons take advantage of the fact that… Read More

“We’ve tried that and it didn’t work.”  “That might be practical for big stores, but not for us.” “Our customers don’t like ____.”  “We can’t afford to do that.” There are so many reasons to reject an idea that an employee comes up with.  And we know that not every suggestion is going to be… Read More

I’m always willing to borrow a good idea from a mass merchant (I’m sure they won’t miss it).  I like the  fact that Kohl’s offers a concrete incentive for customers to return within a week or two of their original purchase. The concept is simple — offer a reward based on the amount of the… Read More

It’s no longer such a small world — the other day I listened in as two of our friends in the British a cappella group The King’s Singers conducted a conversation on Facebook live from Japan.  The 43 minute talk, which cost virtually nothing to produce, garnered almost 200 comments from around the world. It… Read More

You have until December 1 to get ready for the changes in the US Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act — but why wait until the holiday season to make sure you’re in compliance?  The update to the overtime law will extend overtime benefits to 4.2 million workers, and it’s possible that some of… Read More

There was once a time when it seemed far-fetched to imagine people being able to flip through dozens of items with a quick movement of their fingers.  And then in 1861 the mail order catalogue was invented by Welsh entrepreneur Pryce Jones.  That was followed, of course, over a century later by the invention of… Read More

An evangelist is traditionally defined as a person who seeks to convert others to their faith, but more recently it can also mean someone who talks about something with great enthusiasm. And while word of mouth has always been acknowledged to be the best advertising, that is particularly true in our era of social media… Read More

Kudos to the New England Aquarium for the great use of “shelf talkers” in their gift shop.  In a busy tourist destination like this it is a real challenge to give personal service. So shop management has made good use of 4 types of signs throughout the store to draw customers’ attention to certain items.… Read More