Debit Card Fees: Retailers vs. Banks, But Will Consumers Lose?

There is a fight going on between bankers and merchants over what happens when you swipe your debit card at the grocery store or at the mall. When you make a purchase with your debit card, the retailer has to pay 1% to 2% of the total purchase price to banks. Banks want to keep the fees, merchants want to cut them down. ...more

Loans & Social Media: Efforts to Get Small Business Owners To Spend

If there is one thing retailers want, it's this: seeing small business owners start spending money again. However, consumer confidence is low. Just last week, the consumer confidence index level dropped to its lowest point in three months. So what's a retailer to do? ...more

Will Halloween Sales Be A Trick Or Treat For Retailers?

On Saturday afternoon at a stop light in Bellingham, Washington, our car was parallel to a teenager standing on a sidewalk outside of a mall with a handmade sign he was constantly jiggling to encourage people to stop in and buy their halloween costumes. I had actually been watching the teenager for several minutes as the traffic crawled by the shopping mall. ...more

Interesting.  I'd never really thought about Halloween as an especially important time ...more

Small Business Tip: Turn a 60 Second Video into a Meeting at Sam's Club

Got a great idea for a short video to promote your business?  A minute long video could be your ticket to promoting your business and winning an all expense paid business building trip to one of the nation's largest retailers and meetings with buyers and suppliers.   It is a new competition underway for entrepreneurs and small business owners. ...more

Abercrombie & Fitch's Big Misstep: Narcissism

In the 90's and for much of the first decade of this millenium, Abercrombie & Fitch was the brand to beat. The clothing was pricey and the sales figures were strong.Abercrombie & Fitch wasn't selling clothing but an experience...an aspirational experience targeted to teenagers who hoped being decked out in Abercrombie clothes would help them realize their high school dreams. The teenagers couldn't get enough. Overlay those aspirations with a Freudian twist and you get all the elements of narcissism: vanity, conceit, egotism and elitism. ...more

This sentence, and the very fact that a "look policy" exists, is making me sick to my ...more

166 Shopping Days Until Christmas. Let The Holiday Season Begin.

For the second year in a row, Hallmark wins honors as being the first retailer in the country to reference the Christmas Holiday Season in an email. Unlike past years where the actual word "Christmas" was left to the reader's imagination, this year's email alerting loyal Hallmark fans that this was Ornament Preview weekend,didn't chance it. ...more

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Dear retailers...

This has to stop. Frankly, it's getting embarrassing for everyone involved. Look, you know, deep in your hearts, that the relationship is over. That you and consumers haven't really been in sync for awhile now. They're pulling away, cutting back. You barely see them anymore. And when they are there, they don't stay long or spend much. I can only imagine how scary that must be for you, watching them grow more distant with each passing day (and industry collapse). ...more

Black Friday for Dummies: It's Just A Misunderstood Friday

Oh, no! Black Friday is coming. Batten down the hatches! Hide your children! Expect dark skies and creepy cloud formations and perhaps, locusts. Run, run for your lives! Wait...oh, sorry. Black Friday is actually a good day. Oops. My bad. ...more