Rarely has such a short time produced such a dramatic change in the retail scene. A 2018 article in The New York Times includes the shocking statement that “a survey conducted by Douglas Elliman found that about 20 percent of all retail space in Manhattan is currently vacant…compared with roughly 7 percent in 2016.” This… Read More

An offer of $100 off an order, with free returns, sounds tempting – but for some reason we didn’t follow through on the emails we got from some of our vendors saying that we could get this heady discount if we ordered their merchandise through Faire. I’d never heard of the site, and frankly the… Read More

Galentine’s Day started as a joke on the TV show Parks and Recreation nine years ago. Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope suggested that single women celebrate themselves on February 13. This is what park director Knope had to say about Galentine’s Day: “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my… Read More

Japanese merchants have an efficient way of getting rid of odds and ends of merchandise at the beginning the new year – and it would be great if it caught on here. A fukubukuro, or lucky bag, is a grab bag filled with merchandise with a value of at least twice what the customer pays.… Read More

“There’s been an armed robbery!” The phone call every store owner dreads came last Monday afternoon. The employee who called assured us that everyone was safe, and that the police were on their way. Fortunately we live only a couple of blocks from our shop, so we got there within minutes. The police were already… Read More

Self-service kiosks are popping up everywhere – even McDonald’s – as retailers and fast food chains struggle to adjust to raises in minimum wage without increasing prices. Walmart is even using robots to monitor stock levels and send photos of empty shelves to employee’s phones, according to a recent AP story by Christopher Rugaber and… Read More

Hopefully your store is filled with customers as we head into the home stretch of the holiday season. It’s ironic that for many of us, the busiest time of the year is followed by one of the slowest times – so it’s essential that you take a bit of time now to think about how… Read More

Which Christmas cookie do you like best? Most of us find the opportunity to give our opinion irresistible – a friend posted this question on Facebook just 12 hours ago, and already 75 people have weighed in on the issue. And he didn’t even specify who made the cookies, or why he wanted to know.… Read More

Here’s a great idea for an in-store or online promotion: combine cause marketing with BOGO, the popular “buy one, get one free” concept, to offer Buy One, Give One.  A few big companies have been doing this for years, specifically the shoe company TOMS. Their promise to give a shoeless child in Africa a pair… Read More

“The customer is always right” and “Give the lady what she wants” are both quotes attributed to Marshall Field, who established the eponymously named department store in Chicago around 1860. Field bucked the tradition of the time by providing an exceptionally high level of customer service and quality merchandise. The business survived being burned to… Read More