We’re finding it a challenge to keep our shelves stocked this holiday season, which is a welcome problem after last year’s pandemic downturn.  But there is one item we have an almost limitless supply of: gift cards.  They are the perfect items to promote for a number of reasons: Gift cards can bring shoppers in… Read More

Predicting what the future holds in store (pardon the pun) for retailers became much trickier when the pandemic blind-sided us in 2020. But a recent Wall Street Journal article has some good news regarding the future of physical shops. Although writer Suzanne Kapner is mostly discussing online chains in E-Commerce Needs Real Store Locations Now… Read More

Even if you don’t carry partridges or pear trees, you might be able to use the concept of the Twelve Days of Christmas to encourage shopping local during the two weeks before the holiday. Because no matter what your store stocks, it’s bound to be more practical than swans a-swimming and lords a-leaping. The actual… Read More

Making your staff feel appreciated is more important than ever this year as the retail industry faces a severe shortage of employees.  The essential elements of creating an appealing workplace remain the same: offering competitive wages and benefits, scheduling the same hours every week, providing meaningful work and arranging for the flexibility needed to accommodate… Read More

When I wrote a blog post about Google over 12 years ago, I had no idea what a dominant role it would come to play in our lives. At that time there were several other major search engines (Yahoo! Sites was #2).  While the number of competing search engines has declined, the amount of information… Read More

The maxim “focus on what matters” is often attributed to a well-known football coach. Turns out that lots of football coaches have said it – and probably many other famous people as well.  The past two years have been very confusing for us all, so we may find ourselves spinning our wheels a bit as… Read More

Shop Small® is the year-round movement that American Express has undertaken to expand Small Business Saturday into a way “to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive and stay vibrant.” They have created a number of programs to let customers know that locally owned shops are open and eager for business. That doesn’t… Read More

It’s already been a couple of weeks since CNBC encouraged consumers to get started on their gift shopping for 2021. “Your holiday shopping experience is likely to look different than years past,” they cautioned. “Between issues with supply chains, rising cost of goods, staffing shortages and problems filling shelves with merchandise, retailers are gearing up… Read More

When I wrote about setting post-pandemic store hours back in June, I had no idea that we would not be open on Mondays by the start of the fall season. Last year at this time, at the height of the threat from COVID-19, we were only open 20 hours a week. Now that things are… Read More

Most boomers will remember the temptation of ads promising “no money down, twelve months to pay.” Today’s younger consumers are adopting this same buy now, pay later mindset (conveniently abbreviated to BNPL) to make impulse e-commerce purchases that don’t require full payment up front. Independent retailers also selling online – i.e., bricks and clicks stores-… Read More