Rebirth Of Small Retailers

“Challenges of the Future,” is a new white paper offering strategies for the future survival and growth of independent retailers, as demonstrated through expert interviews and a series of case studies with successful independents, in a variety of merchandise lines around the country. The paper, available for free download, outlines major trends impacting independent retailers, and the  significant challenges and obstacles to doing business as it has been done in the past.

In its introduction, the paper describes itself as being, “about changing times and new possibilities. It explores the evolving nature of small independent retailers in the United States, and documents how many small retail entrepreneurs are creating successes that are richly creative and widely beneficial. It identifies new innovative business strategies and tactics that can be helpful and useful to all small independents.”
It’s been said that, ‘America’s business is business,’ and specifically, America’s business has always been about small business entrepreneurship. That’s been our nation’s historic driver of prosperity. Ninety percent of all American businesses employ less than 20 people. Small business accounts for 40 percent of GDP, and small business accounts for 66 percent of all jobs created in the past 25 years, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. The New York Times recently reported the dramatic growth of entrepreneurship programs in universities and colleges, from 16 such programs in 1970 to more than 1,500 today.

By any measure, retailers are overwhelmingly small businesses. More than 95 percent of all retailers have only one store outlet. Almost 90 percent have sales less than $2.5 million and more than 98 percent have less than 100 employees. Small business is where much innovation occurs. That’s where so much opportunity can still be found. Small business is often where the American dream is born and grows into America’s greatest retail success stores. This paper explores all those ideas and many more. To get your free copy, go to A detailed list of resources, websites, publications, organizations, consultants and other information is also online. The paper was underwritten by the George H. Baum Community Charitable Trust, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and the National Retail Federation Foundation.