A business colleague called me last week with a chilling story of someone falsifying a check on her account and getting away with thousands of dollars.  Check fraud is apparently not an uncommon crime, and counterfeit and altered checks are two of the most common fraud schemes. It is only by knowing how these schemes… Read More

We participated in a ‘Best Place to Work’ competition last year – and I’m happy to say that we won in our category. But some of the questions about what benefits we offer made me laugh. Have you ever seen an independent retailer with a beer fridge for employees, or an on-site gym?  Still, in… Read More

The celebration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary was yet another victim of COVID in the spring of 2020. This year isn’t a major milestone like that one – but since April 22 falls on a Saturday in 2023, it’s the perfect opportunity to hold an event highlighting your store’s environmental awareness.  You’ll be reflecting your… Read More

We used to privately refer to the customers we only saw during clearance events as “sales vultures.”  Although these rather ugly scavenger birds get a bad rap, they serve an important purpose by cleaning up the environment and preventing the spread of diseases. Similarly, sale shoppers help us get rid of slow-moving merchandise, cleaning up… Read More

The very first of the now seven hundred Specialty Shop Retailing blog entries was posted on June 23, 2008 – back when the Chicago Gift Show at the Merchandise Mart was one of the largest in the country, and when my suggestion to bring stickers with your store’s name and address on them for show… Read More

Are you serious about growing your business? If so, you might consider a program called Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (known as 10KSB to its friends). According to the Goldman Sachs website, 10KSB  “partners with select Community Development Financial Institutions to provide loans to small businesses in various locations throughout the United States. Through these partnerships,… Read More

We once received a shipment of picture frames that included a piece of pizza with a bite taken out of it. We all laughed at the thought of the warehouse worker wondering where his lunch went – but today we would have shared that funny anecdote on social media. We know that customers love inside… Read More

The Nieman Marcus “fantasy gifts” for 2022 included a bespoke Barbie™ Maserati for $330,000, and an Art Deco diamond tiara for $3.2 million. In case these items were out of their customers’ budgets, at the bottom of the page announcing these luxury items Nieman Marcus included a link to “fantasy for all” gifts starting at… Read More

Heart on Main Street is a new non-profit dedicated to helping independent retailers and locally-owned businesses evolve and thrive within their local communities. According to founder Patrick Keiser, it will do this by providing tools, resources and education so that they can invest back into their businesses and maintain their presence in the community.  The… Read More

We tried a new promotion on Monroe Street this holiday season, and hope that we can build on its success next year. You might get some ideas from our Elf Door Scavenger Hunt and do your own version – it turned out to be a fun way to lead kids and families to discover all… Read More