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Who Killed Black Friday?

I was never big on shopping on Black Friday. I don’t think it was just because I was a retailer. Many of my staff would be up before dawn hitting all the sales before coming in for their shifts. I knew other retailers who would also hit the streets looking for early-bird deals. Since I wasn’t a bargain hunter in general, it wasn’t a big attraction to me.

I also knew a secret. I knew that the same retailers filled with door-busters that day would have similar or even better discounts the week before Christmas. Such is the nature of the season year after year.

Image result for black friday doorbustersAccording to Wikipedia, “Since 1952, [Black Friday] has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.” What most people don’t know is that it wasn’t the “busiest shopping day of the year” until 2003. The Saturday before Christmas regularly held that title most years.

If the new study from Market Track LLC is right, you might see Saturday, 12/23 reclaim the title as fewer people in their surveys say they will be out shopping Black Friday this year. Is this the end of Black Friday as we have known it? And if so, who killed it?

The easy answer is eCommerce. The article linked above is already calling it “Cyber Friday”. More people reported in the survey that they would be shopping online. The online sellers are no fools. Rather than give up on Black Friday and wait until Cyber Monday, they are going after the customers’ dollars all Thanksgiving Week and especially on Friday.

The other culprit is the big retailers themselves. In a quest to win the Black Friday customers, they started opening earlier and earlier until a bunch of them decided to do sales on Thanksgiving, which led to sales on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, too. You do all that and you take away the frenzy of Black Friday. The problem is most employees only have Thursday through Sunday off. Twenty-five states actually have Black Friday as a government holiday. Start offering your deals Monday through Wednesday and you lose some of your customers. They figure they might as well go online since they can’t get out of work.

Some want to blame the media. News reports of fights and people getting trampled will dampen any crowd. The reality is that those stories don’t match the experience for most people since those events are few and far between.

Last but not least, some are saying that American Express with it’s Shop Small Business Saturday campaign also had a hand in Black Friday’s demise. We certainly saw that in our last few years of business. Small Business Saturday beat Black Friday for us in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Add it all up and you might think Black Friday is on life support. Before you pull the plug, however, think about this.

Twenty-five states still have Black Friday as a government holiday. Many corporations also give their employees that day off. That puts a lot of shoppers on the streets ready to get started on their Christmas shopping. Whether they shop online, in stores, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday doesn’t matter.

What does matter is one thing and one thing only—are you the store where they want to spend their money?

The big chains, in their race to the bottom to win the Transactional Customers, only have one tool in their tool box—the red markdown pen. You have a whole bunch of tools at your disposal to win everyone else, the Customer Experience being one of your biggest.

If you are a toy store you could have a whole bunch of toy expert stations with people ready to show off the hot, new toys and answer questions parents might have (many toy stores I know already do this earlier in November for Neighborhood Toy Store Day.)

If you are a clothing store you could have a fashion show with real fashion experts on hand to share tips and help people explore new wardrobes for everyone in their family.

If you are a shoe store you could have certified orthotic fitters on hand to do demonstrations and talk about foot health and the importance of proper support.

If you are a caterer you could partner with a local retailer and offer food to their customers creating a festive atmosphere for the shoppers that becomes a win-win-win for everyone.

There are many ways to win customers during Thanksgiving Week. You know already what the big box and online sellers are going to do. There are a whole bunch of people actually happy that Black Friday won’t be as mobbed with bargain hunters as usual. Go talk to them and show them how shopping at your store will be different, better, and tons more fun.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS It might seem weird to talk about Thanksgiving already. It is only 6 weeks from today. I want you to have enough time to plan something amazingly cool to maximize your weekend sales. If you’ve already seen your sales shift from Friday to Saturday like we did, then plan something special for Saturday to win the Relational Customers. But if you can, plan something special for Friday, too. There are a lot of people not working that day that still want to go shopping.

PPS Don’t read too much into your Friday or your Saturday numbers. Look at the week as a whole. The retail world is changing. Black Friday is no longer the sole focus of the week. But attracting customers hasn’t changed. Go find a way to capture your share of the market.

How to Teach a Class in Your Store

You know why you need to teach classes in your store. Here are the six steps you take to create a class that draws traffic, builds excitement, gains you followers, sets you up as the expert, and makes people want to buy from you.

  1. Determine which product(s) you sell that takes the longest to explain or takes the most trips before the customer pulls the trigger. These are the items to build your class around because these are the items that require an expert. The more questions a customer asks about a product, the more likely you’ll find people wanting to attend a class to learn more.
  2. Write down all the questions a customer typically asks about the product. Then add in two more questions you think they should be asking. This will become the outline of your presentation. (You can brainstorm this list with your sales staff.)
  3. List all the benefits of the products (remember, a feature is what the product does, a benefit is why that helps the user).
  4. List all the downsides of the product. Everything has a downside. If you don’t tell your customer up front, she will think you’re hiding something. Being honest about the downsides wins you trust.
  5. Get the customer to visualize using the product in her home or in her life. Ask questions like, “How would you use this?” Where would you use this?” “Do you see yourself using this?” “How would this affect your life right now?” This moves the customer from being in analytical mode to being in ownership mode. We only do in real life what we have already visualized in our minds. Get your customer to visualize owning the product and you will be more likely to win the sale.
  6. List all the reasons why someone should buy this product from you. If you offer services like layaway or financing or delivery or assembly, this is when you share that information. If you truly have answered all the most important questions including the ones they forgot to ask, and you have helped them visualize owning and using the product, then you have their permission to sell them. Just remember that you aren’t selling a product, you are selling a solution.

That’s the class. It is no different than selling to one person while a bunch of other people sit in and listen. You can decorate with comfortable seating, snacks & prizes (ask your vendors for giveaways), cool signs, etc. Just make sure you follow the steps above so that you offer a true benefit to your customers. They’ll thank you for the effort with their pocketbooks.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS Don’t worry about attendance. You might get 30 people, you might get 3. Make them feel special. Go above and beyond what they expect. Not only will you get the sale, you’ll get the referral, which is often a more powerful sales tool than the class, itself.

PPS Just a reminder that it doesn’t have to be that expensive to advertise. Social media, email, your website, some in-store signage, and a few online community calendars will draw a crowd. Make it worth their while and they’ll help you draw the next crowd.

Hinkley Donuts, Or How to Go Above and Beyond

I had a Hinkley Donut this morning. My favorite is chocolate frosted cinnamon, but I could eat any of about a dozen of their different donuts with equal pleasure. Those of you in Jackson know what I mean. In a statewide competition Hinkley’s Bakery won Best Donuts in Michigan (if they hadn’t there might have been an uproar – or at least a road trip to see if it was true that there existed something better).

When I eat Hinkley Donuts I often think about Ernie.

Hinkley’s Donuts – Best in Michigan!

Ernie sells chairs. Not just any chairs, but fully customizable, fits everyone, incredibly comfortable, office chairs. I put Ernie in the hot seat and asked him about his sales process. He led me through the cold calls, the visits, the dog-and-pony shows, the follow-ups, the closing of the sale and the delivery.

At each point of contact I asked Ernie what his staff was instructed to do. Then I stopped him, and everyone else in the class, and asked, “What does the customer expect out of you at this point?”

This was an eye-opener for everyone in the class. We know what we do, but we rarely stop to think about what our customers actually expect and want. Yet, that is the secret to great customer service – meet your customer’s expectations. In fact, that is critical in today’s connected world where if you fail to meet their expectation, all 962 of their friends on Facebook will know by tonight, and visitors to Yelp and Google will read about it for years.

If you aren’t doing this exercise, you might be missing a critical problem in what you thought was your awesome customer service that has been holding you back.

Once we established the customer’s expectations I asked Ernie a second question. “What would it look like to exceed your customer’s expectations?” If you want to take your customer service to the level where it generates Word-of-Mouth, you have to exceed your customer’s expectations. 

Ernie’s sales team did early morning or early afternoon visits to show off his chairs. We wondered what would happen if the sales people showed up with Hinkley Donuts (well, okay, the equivalent in that town) for morning meetings or Klavon’s Pizza for afternoon meetings. All it would take is a simple call to the local Chamber of Commerce to find out which local bakery or pizza joint is best known in town. A good salesman could probably find a way to get that info in a conversation. I told Ernie, don’t announce you’re bringing the yummies. Make it a surprise. As Roy H. Williams says, “Surprise is the foundation of delight.” It was a simple change, an inexpensive change, but one that would pay high dividends.

By the time Ernie was out of the hot seat he had several ideas of how to meet and exceed what his customers expected. I’m pretty sure he’s been doing that ever since.

When you go above and beyond what your customer expects, you will delight her and win her as a customer. No matter what competition you face, no matter what technology disrupts your future, that will always be true.

That’s what I think about when I eat a Hinkley Donut.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS Yes, I can be bought with food. But it isn’t so much the food itself as it is the gesture. You went above and beyond because you found the local source and made the effort to ply me with something unique, not generic or mass-produced. That’s a powerful statement that earns a lot of trust.

In Retail it is All About Location

Let’s get the elephant out of the room right away.

How can I write a blog about being a successful retailer when I closed my retail store? I can sum that up in three words…

Location. Location. Location.

Yes, we were having a tough time with cash flow. That’s the usual culprit behind any store closing. Much of that was due to our location.

Location Issue #1

The population of Jackson has been stagnant at best the last several years. The youth population, however, has shrunk considerably over the last several years as birth rates declined for all groups but teens, and school enrollment is down huge since 2007. On top of that, average household income in the city fell from around $35K per household to $27K per household (well below the national average of around $56K).

I have constantly talked about paying attention to your Market Share. To know your Market Share you first have to know your Market. Ours has shrunk over 40% since 2007. Fortunately, our share of that market only dipped a little. We still had our piece of the pie, but our pie had turned into a tart.

Location Issue #2

We own and occupy a large building on the north edge of downtown. We have been a large toy store for decades, carrying toys, hobbies, baby products, sporting goods, scouts, and more. When the market could bear it, we had a ton of inventory, but scaling back inventory to match the needs of the community meant less efficient use of space and less of the “impact” of being that large store that had everything.

We discussed converting to a smaller store, more in alignment with the population and income, but that would have led to many long-time customers lamenting that we just weren’t the store we used to be or the store they remembered. Better to close while the memories were still positive.

Location Issue #3

I am a big believer in downtowns. Call me naive but I still believe downtown shopping districts can be successful. It takes dedication from the shop keepers, the landlords, and the city leaders to make it work. It takes smart policies, united fronts, and strong relationships to make it work. We have some of that in Jackson, especially among the retail owners. We also have a city council dedicated to improving the streets and sidewalks and green spaces in our downtown. Unfortunately, that also means a ton of disruptive construction. Two years of it! (and counting.)

Our city leaders are not retailers and don’t understand how construction affects retail. They saw an opportunity to get roads fixed and attract new development (all good things), but didn’t see the consequences to the existing retailers and restaurants. When you are trying to dig out of a cash flow hole, having the busiest street in town – the one that goes right by your building – be restricted from three lanes to one with backups that stretch for blocks for an entire spring and summer is not a good recipe for success. At one point we had so much construction downtown that one detour actually led you to another street closure dead-end, and only if you had local knowledge would you know which alley would get you back to open road.

In a couple years, our downtown is going to be new and fresh and repaved and ready for business. But the last two years were pretty tough on the businesses already here, especially for us as our market declined.

Yeah, Amazon is a deal-changer for many retail categories. Yeah, our own vendors are making decisions that hurt the indie retail channel. Yeah, customers are as fickle as ever and have power like never before. None of those are insurmountable. You can still compete. Even as we closed, we were holding our own for our market. We just didn’t like the direction our market was heading.

If your market is your problem, you can do one of four things, Move, Close, Change or Wait. We chose to close.

Now you know.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I’ll discuss the other three options and what would make them attractive in future posts. Right now I have to go let the big elephant in the room out to roam the savanna.

Friends With Benefits

Align yourself with charity. Pick one or two local organizations (or more if you’re up to it) that you feel strongly about. Do something special for them. Help them out. Be their friend and ally.

You’ll both benefit from the friendship.

Santa Paws 2015 #1

This is a picture of the Cascades Humane Society doing their annual Santa Paws event – pictures of your pet with Santa Claus. They called me a few weeks ago looking for a space to take the pictures. I have a stage. I love dogs – especially rescued dogs. I said yes.

They coordinate getting Santa here. They hire the photographer. They set up the backdrop. They sign up and schedule the photo shoots. They work the tables. They get the profits.

We get the traffic. We get the goodwill. We get the customers telling us how nice it is that we are doing this for them. We get the social media exposure. We get exposed to everyone on their mailing list. We get our name mentioned in their press releases (and non-profit press releases get picked up far more often than for-profit press releases).

Our friendship with them brings benefits to both of us.

When you partner with a charity, you expand your reach. You get exposure to a crowd of generous people who love to give to charitable causes (can you think of a better demographic for the independent retailer?). You get touchy feely goodwill because you are helping out. You don’t just look like a greedy merchant. You strengthen your community (the better the non-profits do, the better everyone does).

Make friends with a charity or two. You’ll reap the benefits.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS Your charity doesn’t have to be aligned with what you sell. We don’t sell pet toys or pet food. Pick charities based on a few different factors such as…

  • Do they have an active base of followers?
  • Do they want to “partner” with you (or simply have you do all the work)?
  • Do they align with your own personal core values?
  • Are they well-respected in the community?

Those are all good reasons for making friends.

Mrs. Hinkley Brought Me Doughnuts

I was unloading our delivery van when a car pulled up to side of the store. A window rolled down and a familiar face said, “Hey Phil, I brought you a little something.”

It wasn’t a “little something”. It was Hinkley Doughnuts!! The number one rated doughnut in Michigan!!! Mrs. Hinkley herself was hand-delivering a few leftovers as she called them (a box of my favorites as I called them).

Jackson isn’t a small town. We’re a city of over 30,000 people and a community of over 150,000 people. It is easy to be an anonymous business owner here. But it pays better to not be so anonymous.

Sure, I’m a regular customer at Hinkley’s Bakery. In fact, I never plan big morning events unless it is a day Hinkley’s is open (they are only open Wed-Sat). I regularly buy a box for the break room at work. But I’m just one of hundreds of their regulars.

So why a box filled with all my favorites for free?

It is the relationship we have built over the years. I am crazy about shopping local and building relationships with my fellow local business owners. We talk and laugh and share stories and ideas. We get to know each other and each other’s families. We help each other out. We send business each other’s ways.

If you want to market yourself, the best place to start is to build a network among your fellow local independents. Introduce yourself every time you visit (and visit them often). Get to know them and they will get to know it you. Be generous with your time and resources. Send them business and they will send some your way, too.

It pays. (Excuse me while I go finish my doughnut.)

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I am getting really chummy with the owner of the downtown brewery right now, too. Yeah, that’s how I roll (pun intended).

Sometimes No Actually Does Mean Yes

No means No.  Most of the time I agree.

Here is where it doesn’t. When your No leads to their Yes.

There is a toy company that just put it out to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) that they said No to Amazon. That’s a pretty big deal. That’s a lot of volume in one place that they turned down. That’s a lot of sales missed.

They said no to an opportunity for more sales and more money. And many, many more stores that had maybe been on the fence about carrying their product just said Yes to them.

We’re talking about Trust. Trust is the most critical element you have to earn to grow your customer base and increase customer loyalty. In Tom Wanek’s book Currencies That Buy Credibility, one of those currencies you can pay is Opportunity.

When you are willing to turn down opportunities just to stay true to who you are, you earn trust. When you put your mission ahead of profits, you earn trust. When you say, “No, we won’t do it that way even though it might be (easier, more lucrative, more profitable),” you earn trust.

Tom brings up the Toyota-founded company Scion that makes those funky, weird-looking vehicles. Scion could sell tons more vehicles than they do, but they don’t want to be a mass-market company. So instead of ramping up production, they limit it and scale it back so that their vehicles remain rare and funky. Their customer base, having seen them forego opportunity to remain true to the original mission, has a level of trust far higher than otherwise.

There are certain toys every year that I just say No to. Why? Because they don’t have the Play Value that is so necessary for children. Could I sell a whole bunch of these other toys? Sure. They have shelf-appeal and advertising behind them. But if I spent decades talking about Play Value and then started selling these toys, I would lose all credibility the moment I put those toys on the shelf.

When you say No, you mean No. But sometimes your No leads to another person’s Yes.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS The picture above is a product called Baby Paper. Yes, I plan to order it. They earned my trust. I want to repay it. That was my initial reaction and it will be your customer’s initial reaction when they see you turn down opportunities just to remain loyal to your mission and your current customer base. Not only will I order, I’ll tell others like me to order. Not only will your loyal customers remain loyal, they’ll bring others like them to the table. That is what Trust does.

Putting Amazon and eCommerce Into Perspective

It is about that time of year when you start hearing all the news about Amazon and Wal-Mart and low prices and discounts and the death of mom & pop shop retailers.

Yeah, Amazon is huge. In 2013, they did $75.4 billion in sales. That was 28.6% of all US eCommerce!

But it was only 2.5% of all retail. In fact, if you take gasoline and groceries out of the mix, eCommerce only accounted for 8.8% of all retail dollars last year.  (see references below)

Think about that for a moment. All the hype about Amazon and the Internet, yet over 9 out of every 10 dollars spent in retail were spent in a brick & mortar store. Brick & mortar is so far from dead, that any report you hear otherwise should be discounted immediately.

Yeah, Wal-Mart is huge, too. Almost four times bigger than Amazon. In 2013, they did $279 billion in sales in the US. That was 9.2% of all retail – more than all of eCommerce!

But once again, that shows you there is still plenty of room for you to do business. Add up Wal-Mart and all of eCommerce and you still have 82% of the retail dollars going somewhere else. That’s almost $2.5 trillion dollars going somewhere else.

That somewhere else ought to be you and me. If we quit worrying so much about Amazon and Wal-Mart and the demise of the mom & pops and start focusing on making ourselves better, it will.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I used two sources for the numbers you see above. The first source here from emarketer.com claims that all retail was $4.5 trillion. But I felt that number was inflated by things like gasoline purchases and other non-eCommerce retail, so I also used the numbers from the US Census here to get a true product purchase number just over $3 trillion.

PPS And the number from Amazon is their total sales, not just US sales, so their percentage of the US market may be a little bit lower.

We Need More Rock Stars

Not just any Rock Stars – we need Retail Rock Stars. You know the stores I’m talking about. The ones you would be most disappointed if they closed. The ones who always seem to have traffic and buzz and excitement. The ones you think should probably be in a book or something because of how they merchandise the store, how they treat the customer, how they participate in the community.

Retail Rock Stars change the landscape of a community. They become the focal point of the shopping center, whether downtown, in a strip or in a mall. Retail Rock Stars attract customers, but they also attract other retailers. People want to be around winners.

The best way to grow your business is to decide right now that you are going to be a Retail Rock Star in your community. You are going to be the retailer everyone wants to be like, to locate next to, to build a community around.

How? Decide what a Retail Rock Star store looks like and do it.

Merchandising? Yes! Displays that are fresh and ever changing and new and eye-catching.
Staffing? Yes! A friendly, helpful staff that will bend over backwards to delight your customers. And I mean BEND OVER BACKWARDS.
Products? Yes! The latest products, the newest innovations, the fresh-hot-off-the-presses stuff.

The Retail Rock Star does not have peeling paint on the side of the building, an old sign, a tired window display. The RRS does not have old lighting, faded carpets, and a tired, boring staff. The RRS does not have merchandise older than the store’s pet dog.

The RRS is a learning store, learning new techniques for marketing and merchandising and training. The RRS is a trying store, trying new things, measuring and tweaking.

These are the kinds of retailers I want to help build. These are the kinds of retailers this economy needs to get out of the current funk. These are the kinds of retailers your community needs to grow and attract people and business. Yes, your community needs you to become an RRS!

That is the goal of the new and improved Jackson Retail Success Academy.



A HISTORY OF THE JACKSON RETAIL SUCCESS ACADEMY

Six years ago Scott Fleming, then director of The Enterprise Group in Jackson County challenged a full alphabet of organizations with the task of supporting and keeping indie retailers in town. From that meeting the Greater Jackson Chamber of Commerce (GJCC), South Central Michigan Works (SCMW), Jackson DDA, Jackson Local First (JLF), Midtown Association of Jackson, Small Business Technology & Development Center (SBTDC), City of Jackson Economic Development, and The Enterprise Group developed the Jackson Retail Success Academy (JRSA).

JRSA was designed to help start-ups and new retailers with less than five years under their belt get the tools they needed for retail success. For the last five years we have been doing exactly that. Well, kinda…
A number of retailers that took the class closed. They found out while doing the math that their business model was flawed from the get-go and there wasn’t enough market in Jackson to make it. Others were just too deep in trouble to dig out of it. A handful of class members took it to the next level, but for some, the next level was to merely go from struggling to surviving.

Most importantly, we weren’t accomplishing the real goal – to turn Jackson into an indie retail haven, a place where indie retailers would not just survive but thrive. We kept looking for struggling retailers to take the class, super small retailers, the minnows in our pond. We were hoping to grow them into fish.

We were focused on the wrong crowd. Winners attract winners. We needed to spend more time trying to grow whales, not fish. We needed to create more Rock Stars.

Time to refocus.

The new and improved JRSA is starting over with a new focus. We are looking for the whales, the established indie retailers who want to go from surviving to thriving. The curriculum is pared down to the essentials of Rock Stardom. The instruction is updated to include thriving in this most challenging new era of retail where all the rules you knew before have changed.

This is not to say that start-ups and newbies are not welcome. They are. Gladly. The information is only as good as the effort you put toward using it.Anyone willing to put forth the effort will get the results they want. But my focus for JRSA will be to go whale-hunting.

The bait is pretty good.

-Phil Wrzesinskiwww.PhilsForum.com

PS The beauty of the new and improved JRSA is that it is easier to take on the road.  If you have a handful of retailers in your town that are on the verge of Rock Staardom, but just need that push to get over the edge, get in touch. I can cram all 20 hours of instruction into two days that, if your head doesn’t explode, will rock your world.

Top Viewed Blog Posts 2012

Everyone loves Top Ten Lists.

Here is my list of my Top Ten Most Viewed Blog Posts from 2012

1. Two Thing You Can Correct Right Now – Two simple things you can do that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but will make the next year better than the previous year.

2. Lessons From MLK Quotes – Five of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. and how they apply to independent retailers.

3. Two Days to Take Your Customer Service to Shareworthy Levels – Announcing a class I am teaching alongside Tim Miles at Wizard Academy on January 29-30. (You really should go!)

4. What to Do About Showrooming – We all face the problem of customers walking in with smart phones, checking out our product, asking our advice, getting our knowledge, scanning the UPC codes and buying it online. You might be surprised at my answer to this ever-growing problem.

5. This Will Be a Successful Year If… – A different, better approach to the dreaded New Year’s Resolution (Appropriate that this would make today’s list. By the way – I accomplished three out of four!)

6. Is JC Penney Making a Mistake? – They announced their new pricing policy at the beginning of last year. I had my opinions on whether it could work or not. Go see if I was right.

7. The Goldilocks Effect – I was egged on by a friend in another online group to discuss this inventory management topic about how to stock and merchandise your store to fit the needs of your customer base better. Apparently other people liked the topic, too.

8. Tell Me About a Time When… – The absolute best interview questions you should be asking!

9. Shopping Local Benefit Salt Lake City – Mostly a link to a great article about a study done in Salt Lake City. Either I have a lot of fans in Salt Lake City or people love to read more articles about the positive impact of shopping local. (You should forward the article to everyone you know in your local and county government economic development positions.)

10. Fair and Square – Another post about the JC Penney pricing fiasco. Their idea was right. Their implementation was wrong, wrong, wrong. Don’t look at their failure as a policy problem, only an implementation problem.

Definitely an interesting mix of posts, don’t you think? Covers a wide gamut from Hiring to Customer Service to Inventory Management to Shop Local to Pricing to Leadership.

Thank you to all who are following publicly, lurking quietly, or just plain stumbling onto this blog by accident. If there are topics you would like me to write about more in 2013, please let me know. I get the feeling the indie retail movement is on the cusp of some serious positive growth over the next few years.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS One of the reasons I believe we’ll see more people Shop Local, Shop Independent is because of a sense of community that they feel at your stores. If you have not yet read the book Pendulum, you need to go get it today. “Sense of Community” will be a driving force for the next decade at least. You should be playing up that aspect of your business.