Birthdays are the one special day everyone starts out with – even stores. And in case you think your shop’s birthday isn’t an event worth celebrating, consider the fact that 20% of all small businesses don’t make it to age one.  No matter how many years yours has been around, the anniversary of the day… Read More


I’ve often mentioned that retailers should periodically come through their own front door and look around as if they are a first-time customer.  But today a high percentage of shoppers will go to your website before setting foot in the bricks and mortar store.  If you approach your website with that in mind, what do… Read More


At the World Retail Congress held this month in Rome, the first of “Retail’s Strategic Pillars” was Our Planet. “Retailers and the retail industry have to take a proactive leading role in affecting genuine, positive change.  There are big challenges for retailers to tackle, and to tackle urgently,” according to the organizers of this year’s… Read More


What sets your shop apart from other stores in your area, as well as your big box and online competitors? If your merchandise selection comes entirely from the same sources, the line may be a thin one. But today it is simple to include at least some items that are exclusively yours by taking advantage… Read More


Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of Small Business Week, but you’ve probably never heard of it. This weeklong event, established by a proclamation from President John F. Kennedy, has been completely overshadowed by its 12-year-old nephew, Small Business Saturday.  But celebrating the original event has two things to recommend it: it takes place… Read More


You may never need to know about Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum – or any of the other types of cryptocurrency – but since customers can now use “crypto” to pay for purchases at Whole Foods and Starbucks, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the term.  According to Merriam-Webster, cryptocurrency is “any form of currency… Read More


Many of the locally owned shops and restaurants in our community have been moved to raise funds to help Ukrainian refugees.  Our store is no exception – we have carried supplies for making Ukrainian eggs for decades, so we feel a special kinship with the culture and people of Ukraine. Deciding to get involved in… Read More


Retail theft has always been a problem for shopkeepers, even if it’s just a young kid stealing candy on a dare.  We take it personally, because it’s our hard-earned money disappearing out the door. There is a real sense of violation that comes every time you discover that someone has shoplifted from your store.  Unfortunately, … Read More


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