Retailers across the country are wondering whether we’re ready to return to normal as the pandemic appears to finally be receding. It’s been a long two years, with hardships for many small businesses that we couldn’t have dreamed of in March, 2020. I’ve been asked more than once if the 4th edition of Specialty Shop… Read More

While April 17 isn’t the latest that Easter can fall (that honor goes to April 25), the fact that it is so late this year means extra time to promote the holiday.  And as COVID finally seems to be receding, consumers are looking forward to a return to the kind of celebrations they held pre-pandemic. … Read More

“Make new friends, but keep the old – one is silver, and the other gold.”  These lyrics, from one of my favorite Girl Scout campfire songs, are a good reminder that although we value our existing customers, it’s also important to constantly cultivate new ones. New Friends and Old Friends is actually a 19th century… Read More

The consumer price index went up 7% in 2021, which according to Bloomberg was the  largest 12-month gain in almost 40 years.  This really hit home last week when I heard that our local dollar store just changed it’s one-size-fits-all price from $1 to $1.25.  And while this year’s rate is predicted to be 7.5%… Read More

Paco Underhill’s groundbreaking book Why We Buy explores the science of shopping. The New York Times review remarked that if anthropology had devoted a branch of study to “shoppers out shopping, interacting with retail environments, including but not limited to every rack, shelf, counter and table display of merchandise, every sign, banner, brochure, directional aid… Read More

We’ve all seen the annoying pop-up ads that appear seconds after you visit a new website.  They promise a chance to win $100, or to receive a special discount, when you sign up for the business’s email newsletter. Often they lead with headlines such as “Let’s keep in touch” and “Be the first to know… Read More

The National Retail Federation (NRF) notes that Americans spent more than $27 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2020. Remember that Valentine’s Day, just a few weeks pre-pandemic?  Hopefully we’re on our way towards a return to the Before Times, and can promote Valentine’s Day the way we would have before COVID hit. As far back… Read More

The container crisis that led to problems in receiving timely deliveries of merchandise in 2021 is unfortunately not a thing of the past. In fact, most retail pundits are predicting that supply chain issues will be one of the top challenges facing us as we head into 2022. The same shortage of employees that is… Read More

It’s been just over a month since the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in the US, and recent reports show that we’ve already set a record with 2 million new coronavirus cases – many of them caused by this variant – in one week.  If you haven’t thought about your response to… Read More

This time of year can be a bit overwhelming for shopkeepers – there’s too much to do, too few hands to share the work, too little (or too much) merchandise on the shelves.  Maybe you have bigger worries, such as meeting payroll and paying your rent. Perhaps your family is wishing that you had more… Read More