Home » Phil’s Retail Blog

Welcome to the 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.

Change Your Viewpoint to See Your Business Better

September 20, 2018

I was sitting in a conference center in Louisville, Kentucky for a presentation by Rick Segel in May 2009. Rick asked the crowd, “Raise your hand if your product selection sucks, if you just don’t have the goods people want.” No hands went up. Rick then said, “Raise your hand if your… Read more

The Fallacy of Foot Traffic

September 19, 2018

I was at Great Lakes Crossing Outlet Mall in Auburn Hills, MI the other day. It is one of the few malls I truly enjoy, partly because it has an aquarium (I have an oceanography degree), a LEGOLand (I used to sell toys for a living), and a Bass Pro… Read more

A Few Truths on Advertising

September 18, 2018

I received the following question via email … “… based on your blog today, when is there ever a good enough ROI to justify advertising?” I understand the confusion. I did a math equation yesterday that showed how a $400 ad buy might not get the desired results for a… Read more

Is it the Best Place to Spend Your Money?

September 17, 2018

“It’s only $400. What have you got to lose?” If you’ve ever run a small business you’ve heard that question before, usually spoken by an advertising sales rep trying to sell you on some new marketing fad, or maybe an add-on to a package you’ve already bought. You fall for… Read more

Price is the Default – Change Your Settings

September 14, 2018

Do you feel beat up over price? Does the business news turn your stomach into knots as you read about department stores like Younker’s going out of business and Sears and Macy’s doing another round of closures? Does it make you cringe every time you hear that Dollar General has… Read more

Connecting Through Stories (Part 2)

September 13, 2018

For twenty years my mom and I would meet every Saturday morning for breakfast. My dad joined us for several of those years. Occasionally my boys would get up early, too, especially since they loved the French Toast and pancakes at the restaurant where we ate. For my mom it… Read more

Connecting Through Stories (Part 1)

September 12, 2018

When people ask me what was my favorite Christmas gift, I often answer my first guitar. I still have it—an Eterna EF-15 six-string acoustic guitar by Yamaha—hanging on the wall with my other guitars. I get a lot of joy from playing guitar. When I first got the guitar I… Read more

A Retail Lesson From 9/11

September 11, 2018

I was in the office this day seventeen years ago. My dad was there talking on the phone with my sister. It was in the morning just after 9am. She had called to wish him a happy 58th birthday. She had CNN on in the background and asked my dad… Read more