At this toy shop, the kids are finally coming back

Apr 7, 2021
Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys in North Carolina, describes what she's seeing this spring.
Ali Cat Toys made over 50 Easter baskets, Irene Kesselman said, with "a lot of stuffed bunnies and rabbits and lambs."
Courtesy of Irene Kesselman

For this stationery retailer, it's been a sympathy card kind of year

Mar 23, 2021
A Michigan stationery retailer saw a big sales trend last year: sympathy cards with a "We're in this together" message.
"Our 'Thinking of you' or sympathy cards just took off," Annie Lang Hartman said. "Ours are kind of more cheeky and funny, kind of like 'We're in this together.'"
Courtesy of Annie Lang Hartman

Seattle retailer reflects on a year without in-person shopping

Mar 9, 2021
Things still feel strange for Cat Wilcox, co-owner of women's boutique Velouria. She misses day-to-day interactions with customers.
A store owner opens her clothing shop in Germany on March 9 as lockdown measures ease.
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Running a mall is "still a struggle" nearly a year into the pandemic

Feb 26, 2021
When a customer refuses to wear a mask inside the Butte Plaza Mall, manager Alana Ferko gets called in to help.
Gil Cohen-Magen/Getty Images

Why Fry's Electronics was more than a store to many

Feb 26, 2021
The ailing tech store closed this week, devastating longtime fans.
"It was this magical wonderland where pretty much everything with a power cord was on sale," said Parker Hall, a product reviewer for Wired.
David McNew/Newsmakers

Post-Christmas sales expected to disappoint retailers

Dec 25, 2020
Shops and malls could use a boost, but experts say that's not likely this year.
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Has 2020's spike in support for Black-owned business carried through to the holidays?

Dec 24, 2020
The pandemic has been hard on Black-owned businesses.
Courtesy Tiffany Griffin

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Retailers have to figure out how to handle all our online returns

Dec 14, 2020
One challenge for those managing "reverse logistics"? Not enough room to store everything we want to send back, one study says.
Packages are processed at a U.S. Postal Service distribution center in Oakland, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

How a Seattle retailer hopes to navigate an uncertain holiday season

Dec 3, 2020
Sales estimates are all over the place. Small business owners are hoping to ride out the uncertainty.
 Tom Butcher, right, and Cindy Reichel, left, co-owners of Patchwerks in Seattle. The four-year-old store and online business specializes in synthesizers and other electronic music instruments.
Image provided by Tom Butcher

How small stores are cutting through the noise from the big-box stores this season

Nov 26, 2020
Personal touches, virtual community events and free shipping can go a long way.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images