Making your staff feel appreciated is more important than ever this year as the retail industry faces a severe shortage of employees.  The essential elements of creating an appealing workplace remain the same: offering competitive wages and benefits, scheduling the same hours every week, providing meaningful work and arranging for the flexibility needed to accommodate… Read More


When I wrote a blog post about Google over 12 years ago, I had no idea what a dominant role it would come to play in our lives. At that time there were several other major search engines (Yahoo! Sites was #2).  While the number of competing search engines has declined, the amount of information… Read More


The maxim “focus on what matters” is often attributed to a well-known football coach. Turns out that lots of football coaches have said it – and probably many other famous people as well.  The past two years have been very confusing for us all, so we may find ourselves spinning our wheels a bit as… Read More


Shop Small® is the year-round movement that American Express has undertaken to expand Small Business Saturday into a way “to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive and stay vibrant.” They have created a number of programs to let customers know that locally owned shops are open and eager for business. That doesn’t… Read More


It’s already been a couple of weeks since CNBC encouraged consumers to get started on their gift shopping for 2021. “Your holiday shopping experience is likely to look different than years past,” they cautioned. “Between issues with supply chains, rising cost of goods, staffing shortages and problems filling shelves with merchandise, retailers are gearing up… Read More


When I wrote about setting post-pandemic store hours back in June, I had no idea that we would not be open on Mondays by the start of the fall season. Last year at this time, at the height of the threat from COVID-19, we were only open 20 hours a week. Now that things are… Read More


Most boomers will remember the temptation of ads promising “no money down, twelve months to pay.” Today’s younger consumers are adopting this same buy now, pay later mindset (conveniently abbreviated to BNPL) to make impulse e-commerce purchases that don’t require full payment up front. Independent retailers also selling online – i.e., bricks and clicks stores-… Read More


The past two years have been filled with challenges ranging from the global pandemic to the container crisis and staff shortages. But as we head into the holiday season, there are points of light that should help keep us hopeful.  Here are a few: In June, the National Retail Federation revised its annual forecast for… Read More


Forbes magazine describes shippageddon as a term from late 2020 “describing a conflation of global supply chain issues that led many brands and retailers to be under-stocked or otherwise unable to fulfill customer demand for purchases last year.” The container crisis, which I wrote about in this blog in early April of this year, is just… Read More


As if it wasn’t enough for small business owners to be dealing with the second year of a pandemic – now shops in many states are being hit by natural disasters ranging from flooding to fire and smoke. These events, caused by environmental factors such as storms, floods, and droughts, are becoming more common thanks to… Read More