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September 2009

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Love Don’t Cost A Thing

It’s important to get something straight — Cupid is not Scrooge and cutting out Valentine’s celebrations doesn’t cut it with most people — especially those of the female variety. Times may be tight, but they haven’t put a stranglehold on sales quite yet. A survey done by the National Retail Federation revealed that in 2009, consumers had planned to spend an average of $102.50 on Valentine’s gifts and merchandise, down from 2008’s $122.98. The weaker economy forces consumers to look for creative and inexpensive ways to celebrate and show their affection for each other. For retailers, this doesn’t have to be a negative. In fact, this could be good for party stores in that extravagant gifts aren’t what shoppers are looking for. They want smaller tokens of affection, in that the survey showed that 58 percent of people were planning on sending greeting cards, up…  » Read more

The Budget Bride

Although people may be tightening their belts a bit, make no mistake — they’re still tying the knot and throwing showers. As retailers, it’s up to you to offer customers a variety of sensible shower solutions that quell any dollar or decorating dilemmas they may face. The key to consistent sales is creativity, value and giving them the most bang for their budget bridal buck. “Brides-to-be love convenience and a stress-free atmosphere when it comes to planning their wedding celebrations,” said Jill Meister, editor-in-chief of GetMarried.com. “Retailers can put them at ease by offering a great selection at various price points so brides at every budget can shop smart. Giving the bride the tools she needs — workshops, specific directions, kits — is a way to build bride loyalty and a strong customer base.” And just because she’s on a budget doesn’t mean she can’t be…  » Read more

The Realities of Employee Retention

You’ve just hired a new employee with past retail experience, stellar references and a “go-getter” attitude. You’re thrilled to have this great asset who’s sure to become a valuable, productive member of your staff. But it takes more than just a weekly paycheck to keep employees on board for the long haul. Why is employee retention so important? Every business owner, supervisor or manager should take a proactive approach to employee retention. According to Susan M. Heathfield, human resources expert for About.com, employee retention is critical to the long-term health and success of your business.* Ultimately, it’s about investing in your current employees and developing mutually beneficial relationships that will foster their growth and the growth of your business. Satisfied employees create a more pleasant environment, not only for other co-workers but also for your customers. Happy employees can also save their business money, according to worldwide…  » Read more