Carol Schroeder, owner of Madison, WI-based Orange Tree Imports, has released the fourth edition of her book Specialty Shop Retailing: How You Can Succeed In Today’s Market. The book is expected to be available this month.
Schroeder, who published the third edition a decade ago and has more than 40 years of retail experience, took the opportunity to update the manual in order to help other independent retailers like herself.
“In this edition, we updated it to talk about topics that are important to the independent market now, like competing with Amazon. We also talked to successful retailers and share their stories in the book,” she said.
These updates, she noted, were designed to help those struggling to adapt to the current retail climate and evolving shopping habits of consumers, and make the changes necessary for future business success.
“I am a strong believer in the future of retail and helping people get through the new normal,” she said. “We have to focus on what we can do to set us apart. That is selling experiences, like cooking classes, and focusing on customer service. Independent retailers have an advantage because we are fun to shop.”
Schroeder also dedicates space to explaining why the independent retailer — in all different segments of the retailing space — is important to the economy on both a local and national level. But, she also dives into how small retailers provide more than just an opportunity for economic gain.
“If someone is going to buy something online and they know what they want, then it’s easy for them to do that online. But there is a delight in going into a well-curated and well-stocked store to have an experience shopping,” she said.
Additionally, Schroeder tackles subjects like establishing an online presence, negotiating a lease and social media best practices, as well as other granular topics.