by Karen Alberg Grossman

As suggested in MR’s Editor’s Letter last week, two of the best tactics retailers can try while their stores are closed are 1. Communicate with customers in a more personal manner without the hard sell; and 2. Sell gift certificates now to be redeemed when the store re-opens.

A simple but smart idea for communicating with customers was sent to me this morning by Angela Guitard who owns a boutique in Rye New York. “Instead of blasting my clients with buy, buy, buy, I thought what better time for them to get to know me better and visa versa. So I sent out an email blast listing five things I accomplished that day—from looking through and laughing at old family photos to unsubscribing for the 10th time to unwanted emails (why do they keep coming back?) to brushing and grooming my two Golden Doodles. I can’t begin to tell you the number of great and positive responses I received…”

Fred Derring, Lee Leonard, and Virginia Sandquist at DLS encouraged their stores early on to jump on the gift card bandwagon. After all, there are so many customers out there who truly want to support their local specialty store, especially now, and what better way to do it than buying a gift card, with or without a discount incentive. Congratulations to Michael Duru, David Wood, Zahners, and Walker Brothers for combining the promotion with a heartfelt personal message. More advice from DLS: make sure your employees apply for unemployment and consider paying the difference between that and what their salary would be.

Stay well, my friends. We will get through this!


  1. You’re always on top of it all Karen! Thank you for bringing awareness.
    Great idea! Supporting retailers in my community and purchased gift cards today by calling and
    emailing them. We are all in a crisis right now, retailers and vendors, and must help each other
    through this to go forward.
    Keep positive!

  2. send your customers a small inexpensive gift,just to make them feel good in these times

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