To sum kiosk and cart success up in a word, it would be “focus.” While it seems like having easy access to foot traffic would be a huge advantage, running a successful kiosk is a discipline that begins long before the first product is offered for sale. Kiosk owners who are focused in their design, marketing, and product selection stand the best chance of success. Those who are relaxed, thinking that just being in a busy mall environment and offering a bunch of loosely connected “popular” products will guarantee sales, risk failure.
As competition in retail intensifies, the future of the convenience store bottom line is coming into focus: food. Experts and industry advocates say that after decades of selling packaged foods, candy, and maybe the occasional roller hot dog or nacho tray, convenience stores are rapidly breaking new ground in the food service business. They are adding deli counters, salad bars, and even haute cuisine.
Retailers are in full back-to-school mode, and with good reason. More than 50 million students will be going back to school this year, and many will need school supplies, clothes and other items that will be purchased during the summer shopping season. This typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, making it the second busiest shopping event of the year.
Annual sales for men’s grooming products reached $3 billion in 2012, and are projected to grow to $6.1 billion by 2017. For the first time in history, men spent more cash on male-specific toiletries in 2013 than on shaving products. Retailers big and small are taking notice, and are betting big that the trend will only continue to grow.
After years of relentless pressure, experts in the toy and gift market are finally beginning to see signs of a revitalized market for small to midsize retailers. However, they warn, it’s not a simple story. The market that’s emerging post-recession and post-Internet is a very different market than retailers have grown accustomed to. In fact, it may be more like the one their grandparents would recognize.
Now might be the perfect time to get into the watch and jewelry business, or expand into new product lines. Experts in the fashion jewelry and watch market say the improving economy has been good for business in almost every sector of the market.
More small business owners are planning to add employees and boost compensation levels, signaling a slightly more positive economic outlook for 2014, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released by Insperity, Inc.
The Experian/Moody Analytics Small Business Credit Index rose 1.2 points to 117 in Q4 2013, the fourth consecutive quarter of improvement in small-business credit conditions and the highest index reading since data tracking began in 2011. Findings indicate that small businesses are now reaping some of the benefits of the nearly five-year-old U.S. recovery, according to Experian.
A strong December retail sales reading indicates that the economy is moving forward at a nice pace, despite arrant jobs numbers released last Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Census Bureau, retail and food services sales rose to $431.9 billion in December, up 0.2 percent from November 2013 and 4.1 percent from the same period in 2012.
Small business optimism edged up in July, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.6 point to 94.1 last month, recouping most of June’s decline, and was the fourth highest reading since December 2007, when the economy slipped into recession.