Trust and Authenticity

This year I drove to The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, Texas. Amounted to just over 2500 total round trip miles from my home in central North Carolina. Part of the route followed the same stretch I walked earlier this year. And though that was a nostalgic highlight, it’s not what I came here to write about. TRE, per usual, was a giant reunion. I … Continue reading Trust and Authenticity

Love and Business

Last week at The Running Event, the keynote speaker uttered words every single business owner needs to hear—He said, “Love and business…there’s plenty of room to cultivate both.” Love and business. Two terms that typically don’t get much playing time. Not together, anyhow. But this guy insisted that any business’s future relevance depends on both working as one. The speaker was Walter Robb, former CEO … Continue reading Love and Business

Unforgettable Retail Performance

Specialty retail is a performance, and there’s a giant difference between a ho-hum experience and one that earns rave reviews from the harshest critic. Your people wear metaphorical “makeup” so folks can see them from the back row. They exaggerate their movements and animate gestures to make a solid impact on the entire audience. Hopefully they don’t overdo it. Maybe your show’s been running for … Continue reading Unforgettable Retail Performance

New Retail Word: Handseling

Offer Your Customers a Good Luck Charm I’d like to introduce a new word to the specialty retail lexicon—handseling. Ever heard of this word? Neither had I until I interviewed the owner of a local bookstore for an article I was writing. She used it when referring to her staff’s interaction with each customer. As in, “When handseling, staffers really need to make sure we … Continue reading New Retail Word: Handseling

Reframe Your Apparel Category

An Open Letter (on Apparel) to Specialty Running Store Owners… Dear Owners of American Run Shops, Many of you have asked me how to sell more apparel. Rather than get back to each of you individually, I’m blasting off this form letter with my thoughts on an ever-present topic of frustration in specialty run. Forgive my generalizations and take my comments with a grain of … Continue reading Reframe Your Apparel Category