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Welcome to my Retail Blog! You don’t have to be an independent retailer to find value in these posts (but it helps).

This blog is for you. If there are any topics or questions you want addressed, let me know and I’ll cover them.

Phil's Retail Blog
I write this retail blog for you. Send me your questions and I’ll answer them here.

“I Had to Argue to Get It”

June 26, 2017

My buddy Lenny and I were having a conversation last night at the industry party for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) event in Philadelphia. Lenny sells toys, specifically one of my favorite companies — Marky Sparky. Lenny and Mark(y) were regaling the story of being at a different toy show years ago and winning … Read more

Adjusting the Sails

June 21, 2017

I learned how to sail at YMCA Storer Camps. I knew how to canoe and kayak (I even did an eskimo roll in a kayak on the New River – bucket list!) I knew how to use a paddle to get just about anywhere, but I had never learned to harness the wind. Sailing looked easy enough. … Read more

Advertising Cannot Change Your Reputation

June 18, 2017

In a recent post I talked about how my hometown of Jackson, Michigan was once called “Central City” because of the railroad industry back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The name most people my age knew was the unofficial title of “Prison City”. One reader reminded me that for several years Jackson has … Read more

Revisit the Important Stuff

June 12, 2017

Staff training has begun for my summer gig at YMCA Storer Camps. There is a lot of ground to cover to get the camp counselors up to speed with all the policies and procedures. Like any other camp, Storer has its quirks and special ways of doing things. Also like any other camp, Storer’s number one … Read more

Use Your Flaws to Your Advantage

June 9, 2017

I was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan. I have spent 44 of my 50 years living in Jackson. Back in the late 1800’s Jackson was known as “Central City” because it was the hub to all the rail lines that ran through Michigan. As the railroad died out, Jackson became known as the “Prison … Read more

Painting the Picture on the Web

June 8, 2017

I had a lunch meeting earlier this week at one of my favorite restaurants—Mat’s Cafe. Mat makes the best pulled pork I have ever had. I have eaten there so much that there is even an off-menu item called “The Toy Man” (a plate of his award-winning pulled pork and mac & cheese). You order … Read more

How Many Ways are You Marketing & Advertising Your Business?

June 7, 2017

One of the segments of the SPOTLIGHT ON MARKETING & ADVERTISING workshop coming up Tuesday, June 20th focuses on the many different media you can use to market & advertise your business and their respective strengths and weaknesses. It dawned on me that I have used many different forms of media out there for Toy House … Read more

This is What Winning Looks Like

June 6, 2017

I was in Macy’s flagship store in New York City back in 1995. Seven floors of department store Nirvana. Everything you could ever imagine under one roof. I thumbed through sport coats of all sizes. Found several even bigger than the 50-Long I was wearing. They had everything … except a shirt that would fit … Read more