The end of 2019 would have been a challenging time to open a retail store, but it turns out that it wasn’t such a bad time to launch a new “digital trade show” e-commerce company.  Trada was initially only active in Australia, starting out with 40 Australian brands and 100 Australian retailers, but last month… Read More


A recent poll of our neighboring businesses revealed that only half of us are back to our pre-pandemic hours.  Our shop is one of several still closed at least one day a week, and we aren’t open any evenings yet.  Prior to COVID, we were open every day, and four to five evenings until 8:00.… Read More


Walmart has recently debuted a smartphone app for its associates, and according to an AP wire story the company has pledged to give more than 740,000 store workers a new Samsung phone for free by the end fo the year. The company has stated that their goal is to make the workers’ jobs easier, and… Read More


“As retailers open their doors and begin operating in the new economy, many might find their associates are dealing with a new array of challenges. Even as the number of infections and deaths decline, the economic and societal fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could linger for years.”  These insights by Craig Guillot were published on… Read More


Communities wanting to help revitalize their commercial districts post-COVID may want to consider the concept of pop-ups. In our city of Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway recently introduced The Madison Pop-Up Shop Initiative. It addresses the need to help the businesses of downtown Madison who were hit hard by the pandemic, as well as the… Read More


Total spending in the US for Father’s Day was about $17 billion in 2020 – and that was at the height of the pandemic. The National Retail Federation’s statistics show this holiday trending up significantly from $12.5 billion in 2015, which is about a 35% increase. Even if you don’t normally promote Father’s Day gifts,… Read More


“Joanna’s Favorites” for the summer of 2021 include everything from the Bee’s Wrap Cheese Set to a $70 plywood version of the traditional plastic milk crate. “Chip’s Favorites” are much more masculine – a bluetooth speaker in duck blue and a book called How to Stay Alive in the Woods. The couple who selected these… Read More


“Closed due to lack of staff” is a sign that is following hot on the heals of “Closed due to COVID.”  Whether they are temporary or permanent, the closures due to a shortage of employees reflect yet another big challenge facing retailers and restaurants today.  Many small businesses lost their long-time staff during the months… Read More


Pandexit (n.) The final phase of a pandemic. According an article in The Cap Times by University of Wisconsin professors Malia Jones and Christine Whelan, we are entering “the messy, halting, confusing labyrinth we must navigate to get from where we are to our new normal. Pandexit is the transition period between crisis and the… Read More


Amazon’s sales topped $1 billion a day in 2020, according to Bloomberg Technology. Amazon benefited disproportionately from COVID-19 and the shift towards online sales caused by the pandemic. In fact, the Bloomberg article states that their revenue grew nearly 44% in the fourth quarter of 2020.  It goes without saying that much of this growth was at… Read More