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

How do you know it’s almost Leap Day? When it is only a hop, skip and a jump away.  That’s a corny joke, but we need all the laughs we can get in the depths of the long Wisconsin winter.  And we also need fresh ideas for promotions to bring customers into the store once… Read More

We all know that there is an acute shortage of retail workers.  But you may not have thought about the fact that there’s a correlation between this crisis and the lack of affordable childcare in the U.S.  Over 50% of store employees are women, and if those with young kids can’t find someone to take… Read More

Bringing customers into the store during the slower winter months is a challenge for many of us. This year our shop hopes to see a good return on the $10 gift cards we gave away on Small Business Saturday.  We noted on each card that it is only valid this in January, 2024, and customers… Read More

For most of independent shopkeepers, the 2020s have been quite a ride so far; starting with the pandemic in 2020, then the container crisis, the economy, and then more pandemic. There’s something about starting a new calendar that brings the expectation of better times – let’s hope that’s what 2024 has in store. But before… Read More

Credit cards, according to CNBC, now make up over 82% of all in-store retail transactions in the United States. Card-not-present payments such as Apple Pay are on the rise.  Digital currencies such as bitcoin may be the wave of the future.  Which brings up the question: do stores still need to accept cash? The downside… Read More

Budget Bicyle Center runs a couple of stores near us on Regent Street in Madison, Wisconsin – and their shop at 1230 Regent Street stocks hundreds and hundreds of bikes. This point was really brought home by a short, dramatic video created for them by drone photographer/videographer Oberon Jagodinski of OVJ Photography.  You can see… Read More

Your front window presents a great opportunity to entice potential shoppers into the store, usually by giving them a preview of what you offer. Visual merchandising can be a real art – and in fact Salvadore Dali and Andy Warhol are among those commissioned to decorate shop windows in the heyday of department stores. Most… Read More

It’s always a good idea to walk up to your store as if you were a consumer. What signage and displays invite you to come in? Once you enter, what do you see first? Does someone welcome you? Are there shopping baskets for your convenience? Is there an intriguing array of new merchandise to tempt… Read More

There’s an old joke in retailing that goes like this: “We’re losing money on every sale, but we make it up in volume.”  It would of course be bad to have such low markup on every item that you don’t break even – but not making a profit on a few things may actually be… Read More