by Steve Pruitt

Q: I just read that over 75 percent of U.S. consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping on Amazon. How can brick-and-mortar retailers get more of the pie?

Steve Pruitt: The quick answer is simple: Don’t sell merchandise that is already available on Amazon. Think of Amazon today as the department stores of yesterday. How did we deal with that? By creating compelling mixes of merchandise and offering great service.

There’s no doubt that independent retailers can be successful when they keep these two priorities in mind. Just look at the latest numbers: The National Retail Federation projected a small, single-digit increase in sales for the month of December. I queried a number of our retailers a few days ago and we are seeing increases of between 5 percent and 15 percent so far this month, so the proof is in the pudding.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to compete with giant online retailers. Just do what you do best, serving your specific market.

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