October 29, 2020
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9 Smart Tactics Independent Retailers Can Use Now to Boost Business

“It is imperative that retailers learn from each other and ensure that we are providing a customer experience that makes shoppers feel like a king or queen.”
That was the message from Dan Ungar, president of Lyndhurst, Ohio-based Mar-Lou Shoes at a presentation on best practices, hosted today by the National Shoe Retailers Association at FN Platform.
Ungar was joined on the stage by Jody Finnegan, owner of 12th Street Shoes in Bellingham, Wash., and Megan Sadjak, director of marketing for Stan’s Fit for Your Feet, based in Brookfield, Wisc.
All three retail veterans shared their techniques for creating a vibrant business through special events and promotions, customer outreach and community involvement.
Below are some of their most successful tactics:
1. Solicit feedback from shoppers — Mar-Lou invites customers to participate in focus groups during after-store hours, to gain insight and knowledge. Ungar said the sessions can target certain demographics, geographies and spending habits.
2. Host regular in-store events — Finnegan said that she is committed to holding at least one event at 12th Street each month. “We’ll try pretty much anything!” But she emphasized the importance of keeping upfront costs low. “That way, if the event doesn’t work, you don’t take a hit.”
3. Let your

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