In recent holiday seasons, media reports have proclaimed that consumers were favoring experiences over material items when purchasing gifts. Travel, spa services, entertainment tickets, restaurant gift certificates – all luxuries that are largely not possible due to the pandemic. A recent Bloomberg News story carried the headline “Retailers revel as goods rebound over experiences” –  a ray… Read More

I imagine I’m not alone in feeling rather discouraged as our shop heads into the holiday season this year.  We have a beautifully displayed selection of merchandise, a well-trained and dedicated staff, and a loyal customer following built up over 45 years of retailing.  But the pandemic means that we can’t invite shoppers into our… Read More

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010, dedicating the Saturday after Thanksgiving to supporting small businesses across the country. Since its inception, consumers have reported spending a combined estimate of $120 billion.  The impact of SBS in raising awareness of the importance of shopping at locally owned stores over the past decade… Read More

Visual merchandising is taking on new meaning during the pandemic – instead of drawing people into the store to shop, window displays are now an opportunity to help customers make purchases without going into the store.   We all know how easy it is to be tempted by items on display in a shop window. … Read More

This year it’s going to be harder than ever to sell the whole shebang, i.e. all of the inventory you’ve brought in for the holiday season 2020.  With a limited number of in-store shoppers, and an economy suffering from the effects of COVID-19, most of us are going into the 4th quarter with lowered expectations.… Read More

A friend recently posted a photo on Facebook of this cute card, received free with a purchase from Walgreens.   She also showed the message that accompanied it encouraging her to “share a little gratitude with the people who matter the most.” She said she appreciated the reminder to send more cards to friends and… Read More

A recent New York Times article states that the COVID-19 trend of customers picking up their parcels outside a store may continue beyond the pandemic.  “The popularity of curbside pickup reveals that the future of retail is not just more packages piling up on people’s doorsteps. Beyond satisfying the need for contactless shopping in the… Read More

Amazon has been having a banner year – some of it at the expense of independent retailers, as our COVID-bound customers move more of their shopping online.  And now our giant competitor is about the roll out its biggest promotion of the year, Prime Days, on October 13 and 14.  Whether this is a threat… Read More

Managing your inventory is more important than ever this year. With fewer customers coming through the door, we don’t have as many opportunities to find just the right buyer for slower moving merchandise.  And with less sales income, we need to make sure we don’t have money tied up in older inventory that could be… Read More

What will Halloween be like in 2020? A recent article by the National Retail Federation quoted their annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics as showing that “more than 148 million U.S. adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes,… Read More