Spring 2008
The Long Run By Patricia Norins

I have always admired the tenacity and passion of small retailers.

Take Los Angeles retailer Desiree Galvez for example. Faced with a slowing national economy and the local fallout after a debilitating writers’ strike, she took to the streets outside her store to increase customer traffic. Desiree handed out flyers and gift cards at least twice a week to everyone who passed by her store. Why? “It’s my business,” she said. “I have to go out there and fight for it.”

Desiree typifies the many retailers we talked to for the latest installment of our Industry Challenge series. We hear the dire news constantly—signs of the U.S. economy slowing down are hard to ignore. So GIFT SHOP interviewed retailers and experts around the country to get a pulse on how gift store retailers are faring and what their strategies were to ride out potentially rough times ahead. The answers we found were surprising. While retailers are realistic about sales goals this year, many of them share the view that with a little smart planning, they can weather out the storm. Our interviewees shared that they have been through slowdowns before and had made it. The mood is one of caution, not doom and gloom.

So keep your chin up. Spring is around the corner—hopefully both literally and figuratively. We are in it together—for the long run.

Patricia Norins

Norins is the founder and publisher of two national trade magazines and two trade shows. Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and temporary in-line stores) has a readership of more than 75,000 and GIFT SHOP, the magazine for independent gift shop owners, has a readership of more than 60,000. She also serves as consultant to small independent retailers across the country.

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