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

There are obviously many differences between running an upscale restaurant and a small independent shop. But in reading Will Guidara’s Unreasonable Hospitality, I came to realize that there are also some important similarities in the way we need to approach customer service. There are definitely less expensive, quicker ways for diners to get a meal… Read More

Did you know that Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25? That range of dates can impact the sale of seasonal merchandise, although you’d think that the Easter rabbit would make about the same number of stops whenever he’s hoppin’ down the bunny trail. Analysts at Deutsche Bank explained it this way: “we… Read More

The person delivering salt for our water softener recently left three 40 lb. bags in the middle of our front steps, blocking the entrance to our home. Did we complain? No, because we know that Culligan probably wouldn’t be able to find anyone to replace him if he was fired.  The current employee crisis has… Read More

Hardly anyone really needs a giant, 40 ounce insulated tumbler – and yet the Quencher has helped Stanley grow its annual revenue from $70 million to over $750 million in four years, according to CNBC. The video of shoppers snatching up the limited edition red Valentine’s Day cups at Target has gone viral, and there… Read More