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WHILE last year was a bit

of a roller coaster ride for a

while, the retailing industry

wrapped up fairly nicely with

sales numbers well above

projections. Some of the big

chains wanted to ensure sales

and did start discounting

a bit earlier than usual,

which is never good for us

independents.

THE economy has been encouraging

and there is definitely a good trend of

higher sales. Many retailers have taken the

hint over the last few years and started

increasing their online business which is

going to be essential going forward, if you

are planning on going forward!

AS small retailers we are able to change

with the marketplace. Fidgets are in, we

will order them tomorrow. Fingerlings are

hot, buy a case in the morning. We have

a real advantage over the mega sellers

by being able to mobilize quickly. Many of

our local shoppers like that and trust me,

that is what keeps a lot of our stores in

business these days.

BEING able to keep your local shoppers

is one thing, but you also need to ensure

your future by investing in your ecommerce

websites and keep them current and

well promoted. A larger percentage of

purchasing is being done

online and this past season hit

new records. The trajectory is

only up so you really need to

keep increasing your presence.

UNLIKE the old days it's

easier than ever to not only

create websites but to also

ship merchandise, so there is

no excuse not to get to cutting

edge here.

NOW that we are starting a brand new

year I always encourage retailers to go

through their remaining inventory from

after Christmas. If it didn't sell, it probably

won't and you really need to convert old

goods into new saleable items. You can

get great deductions by donating items,

you can run big markdown sales to drive

in traffic during the typically slow month

of January. Just make a concerted effort

to dust off the goods and send them out

the door.

LET'S blast into 2018 with gusto and

make this one of the best years for our

businesses. Set goals for each quarter

and try to break them. Encourage your

employees to create new ideas and sales

incentives. From everything we see this

could be a great year for our industry, so

let's be smart and work hard and keep our

eyes on the prize.

Let me be the first to say Happy New Year! We

made it through another year of holiday

madness, and for most retailers it was a really successful season.

SALES & MARKETING

Gregory Brown

Tom Richards

Scott Savitt

Martin Stevens

OFFICE MANAGER

Leah C.

PRODUCTION

Lisa Maresca-Smith

CREDIT DEPARTMENT

Kristine Hines

CIRCULATION

Discount Reading Svc.

LITERARY STAFF

Patricia Luebke

Jason Meyers

Rachel Spearman

COLOR PRODUCTION

Anchor Imaging

PRINTING

Composing Room

ART DIRECTION

Gregory Stevens

Martin Stevens

OVERSEAS OFFICE

Trade Channel

N.W. Guineastr 30

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Netherlands

+31-23-531-90-22

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Entire contents copyright ©2017 by

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