DollarDays Blog

By @ 2017-05-25 5:00 AM

What are Fidget Spinners?

You may have seen them whirring in the palms of passing teenagers. You may have seen a mention of them on the news. You’re probably very curious about those small, distracting devices that spin and spin and spin to the delight of its owner.

Fidget spinners are the latest fad that’s taking over the country.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-05-11 5:00 AM

Retail’s first Instagram royalty was crowned in 2014 by Bloomberg.

Brandy Melville, a clothing retailer aimed at teenagers, built its brand entirely on the photo-centric social media platform. They do no traditional advertising, but they’ve beat the curve on earnings among their competitors.

Granted, Brandy, as the brand is referred to online, has 2.2 million followers on Instagram and thousands more on Twitter and Facebook. That’s unachievable scale for many small retailers, but there are general lessons available from great social brands like Brandy for everyone to glean.


By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-05-04 6:05 AM

The headlines are hard to miss. Something’s brewing in retail.

Artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning are on their way, and they’re going to change everything about the retail industry, including who works for you and what skills are important.

What should the average store owner be doing to get ready for the wave?

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-04-27 6:00 AM

Just the other day a couple of mid-30s men were walking down a main street in a New York neighborhood on a particularly nice day. Both of them had their smart phones un-holstered, and ready to answer any question that might pop into their heads.

One received a Snapchat, and the other caught a Pokemon. One’s Facebook Messenger blonked and the other’s Instagram blinked.

They walked right past store after store, oblivious to the window displays and sandwich boards designed to corral them inside. Those marketing efforts couldn’t match the bells and whistles going off on their smart-phones.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-04-20 6:00 AM

The results are in from the annual Temkins Customer Service Ratings Survey and three of the top 25 stores in the retail sector are dollar stores.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-04-13 6:00 AM

Nothing is clear about healthcare reform.

What seemed like a foregone conclusion a few weeks ago, that the Republican controlled legislature would make good on years of promises and repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, did not come to pass. Now small businesses are left in the lurch as Obamacare lumbers ahead badly in need of repair but unlikely to get any attention.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-04-06 6:00 AM

It’s no secret that a successful business needs a presence online. When’s the last time you checked on your Google rank?

More and more potential shoppers are searching first and asking questions later. Some research suggests that as many as 80 percent of consumers start their shopping online, according to SnapRetail, and they say it’s essential to get your search engine welcome mat looking tidy.

Neilsen, a data metrics company famous for TV ratings that also tracks consumer behavior, tweaks their assertion with some category specific data. More than 60 percent of shoppers in the travel products and services category start online, according to Neilsen’s data. A smaller, but still significant number of consumables shoppers looking for groceries and other food items. About 40 percent of food seekers started online, too, and their behaviors included product research and couponing. 

We’ve all got devices in our hands all day so it makes great sense. Neilsen’s advice is to provide information in all the places the consumer are looking.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-03-30 6:00 AM

Retailers may be steeling for a fight with banks over rising debit card processing fees, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Emboldened by a potentially friendlier administration in the White House, banking lobbyists are pushing aggressively for a repeal of a portion of 2010’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act known as The Durbin Amendment.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-03-23 6:00 AM

If there were a single phrase a store owner could utter to improve their customer retention, build lasting relationships and possibly increase sales, they’d likely say it all the time, right?

Great news. There is such a phrase. It goes, “I appreciate my customers.”

The trick is in proving it to your clientele.

Customer appreciation covers a lot of different behaviors, from gifts and loyalty programs to  contests and promotions. But your core strategy doesn’t have to be complex. There are simple and cost effective tactics that any small business owner can use to reap the rewards of having satisfied, loyal customers.

By Brittany Engelmann @ 2017-03-16 7:00 AM

Picture this: It’s a bright, sunny Spring day. Kids are out of school and there’s something close to brisk foot traffic in and out of your shop. You’re busy with customers when suddenly a group of what looks like teenagers rush into your space.

They’re in and out in less than a minute. A flurry of hands looting your shelves as they hoot and holler and run amok. And in a flash they’re gone, out the door and running in different directions.

What can you do?