Dead armadillos…

Consumers can usually be relied on to "shop 'til they drop." This was one of the primary drivers of the economic recovery we saw in 2003-2004. In fact, the 7-percent surge in sales in 2004... more »

ABC’s of Sign Making… the Digital Way

Most everyone would agree that an excellent way to increase your retail sales is by creating customer awareness through promotions and marketing. While many store owners have already developed extensive advertising programs, they often overlook... more »

Exploit Your Differences

Home stores and mass merchants provide stiff competition for independent retailers in virtually all categories. The "boxes" have become experts at transaction selling, providing low-cost and convenient product solution, and processing hordes of customers. Now,... more »

Adding a New Station

Back in high school, I worked at a neighborhood pharmacy afternoons and weekends. One of my responsibilities was keeping the vast display of greeting cards clean, neat and stocked. Thinking back on that experience, even... more »

Everything I ever needed to know…

In the years since moving to Chicago, I have become an avid baseball fan. I count the days until spring training starts, I get to the ballpark as often as possible, and I've even started... more »

Hands-on For Happier Customers

A few months ago a couple of my friends and I went to a cooking class at a local gourmet retail shop. We decided to pick a night when the retailer was presenting a type... more »

Accessibility for All

February 2005, Hecht's and Lord & Taylor department stores agreed to make their stores accessible for disabled shoppers by providing wider pathways between clothing racks, lower cash registers and wider fitting rooms. Wasn't that nice... more »

Boost Profits with Trial Gardens

Trial gardens are located in every state and many counties and re-main one of the most underused tools of our industry, mostly because of their passive nature. These wells of information come and go, and... more »

Braving the California Coast

It is here again — the California Pack Trials. If you've gone before, you know how beneficial it is. If you haven't gone, oh, let me tell you... this trip is one you won't forget,... more »

Writing A Successful Business Plan

Although traditionally considered an exercise for larger companies, business plans today are strategic tools not only for obtaining financing, but for forming alliances, recruiting key employees and managing external relationships for any size company. It... more »

Trade Shows of the Gift Market

To provide the most beneficial information to help develop or keep your gift section fresh and specialty oriented, we asked the sponsors/managers of the gift shows here in the states to provide the five Ws... more »

Pesticide Basics

Advising customers about the correct pesticide is not always a simple task. The large selection offered to homeowners today can be confusing, and they often look to garden centers for answers. If your employees do... more »


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