We all get asked for donations on a regular basis – in fact on a slow day, the requests seem to outnumber the sales. It’s long been our policy to give a gift card to the causes we decide to support, since this usually brings the recipient into the store to shop. For larger donations… Read More

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, can always be counted on for inspiration and techniques for living a better life. Her latest book, Outer Order/Inner Calm, promises that you can make more room for happiness by decluttering and organizing. This trend towards minimalism, led by Marie Kondo, is not always good news for those… Read More

You’ll probably see the icons for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest on the smart phones of most independent retailers. It really helps to  see what your customers are seeing when they visit your pages on social media platforms – and hopefully you are following other businesses like yours, as well as the shops and restaurants near… Read More

“Graduation is a huge milestone for students and parents alike, and retailers are ready to help make it even more memorable,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay was quoted as saying in an NRF press release last spring. The article went on to state that graduation spending was expected to reach $5.2 billion… Read More

“Can a business refuse to accept cash?” would once have been thought a very unlikely question to be facing the retail community.  But earlier this year the New York City Council was in fact considering a proposal to ban restaurants and retail establishments from going cashless, according to the National Law Review.  While most of… Read More

Every state has its own version of unemployment insurance requirements, designed to protect individuals who are laid off or let go. The American version of the unemployment insurance program, which originated in England, was established at the height of the Depression to help the many people struggling without jobs. Coverage provides a certain level of… Read More

An influencer is defined as “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.” Typically an influencer is actively engaged with social media followers in a particular niche – so it can be really helpful to make sure you’re in touch… Read More

Wine walks, art tours, chocolate crawls – these are all events that can help get customers to visit a number of stores in an area. Shoppers buy a ticket or are given a passport and a list of participating businesses, and make their way from one venue to the next. The Vintage Shop Hop takes… Read More

Things Remembered recently declared bankruptcy so that the business could be purchased by Enesco, a major brand mostly interested in the “leading personalization capabilities” it acquired through the deal.  You may wonder why the 40-year-old chain failed if personalization is supposed to be such a hot trend – but as with many recent retail failures,… Read More

“See what the world’s creating” is the motto of b8ta.com, a young company reimagining the way that new products are brought to consumers in a brick and mortar store. They had a large presence in the lobby area of the recent International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, and I was intrigued by their innovative… Read More