Feeling isolated? If you want to get in touch with other retailers – and have some time on your hands – the social forum Reddit might be for you. A disclaimer:  I don’t have any extra time at this point, so I don’t use it myself – but I’m curious. I see Reddit referred to… Read More

Note: The Specialty Shop Retailing blog has been weekly (more or less) for over 15 years. I’ve recently been considering changing it to biweekly, but instead decided to alternate new posts with some of my favorites from the 750 already online. I’ll update them whenever necessary, of course. Do you have a topic you like… Read More

They didn’t teach anything about profit and loss statements or budgeting when I studied for my MA in Danish literature here at the University of Wisconsin. Like many independent retailers, I never took a single business course.  I learned most of what I needed to know through trial and error, which was one reason I… Read More

Consumer consumption is undoubtedly not the best thing for the environment. But those of us who are independent brick & mortar retailers can take pride in the fact that we offer an alternative that is better for the planet than online shopping. Returns are one example of something local shopkeepers do better than Amazon and… Read More

MasterCard and Visa recently reached an estimated $30 billion antitrust settlement to limit credit and debit card processing fees for merchants, according to Reuters.You may well be wondering what that means to you as an independent retailer. “Merchants have long accused Visa and Mastercard of charging inflated swipe fees, or interchange fees, when shoppers used… Read More

Faire has made a huge difference in the way many small retailers buy, sometimes leading them to bypass the sales reps servicing their stores. This is obviously a threat to the future of sales agencies, trade shows, and the reps themselves. I’m especially unhappy to see vendors with sales reps out working their territory also… Read More

I recently came across an article by Christopher Gigley in a gift trade magazine from back in 1997. “Anticipate online shoppers” was the headline, and Gigley’s recommendation was that in order to make money through the World Wide Web, retailers needed to think seriously about where this new technology was heading.   At the time,… Read More

For some reason, lots of ads for devices that encourage customers to use a device to rate their shopping experience have been popping up in my social media feed lately. They utilize NFC (near-field communication) technology to allow customers to more easily use their smart phone to connect to Google and write a review.  Ironically,… Read More

It’s more important than ever to give customers a reason to come in to your store – and to make shopping entertaining and enjoyable.  A calendar of frequent free events helps reinforce the idea that there’s always something going on in your shop. Facebook and Instagram, together with e-mail blasts, make it possible to create… Read More

Instagram feed posts are an essential part of social media marketing for most retailers, but for some reason the platform restricts the use of hyperlinks to the bio (or about) page. This is not true in Instagram stories, or on Facebook – which is also owned by Meta – so there may be a change… Read More