Listening to the Customer – October/November 2020

Scott C. Borowsky

In a race to find the best possible business strategies, it is sometimes tempting to focus solely on the expert opinions of those in the industry who have studied consumer behavior and habits. Although this method has a great deal of value, it can also be beneficial to connect directly with your customers as you seek to serve their needs. Retailers with years of experience develop a sense about the types of merchandise that will sell well in their stores, and these instincts can be just as valuable as professionally sourced studies and reports. Store owners can also employ kindness and genuine curiosity regarding what their customers are seeking and get great sales results from their efforts. This fall, along with the advice of professionals, it can be doubly valuable to listen to the people who have kept your business afloat throughout the pandemic, your loyal customer base, and key in on their needs and wants.
With some trade shows canceled, the role SGN plays in connecting you with vendors is more important than ever. Our advertisers are quality companies offering top-notch merchandise for your valued clientele. In each issue, the ads work together with great ideas from your retail colleagues around the country found in the articles. No other industry publication offers the sheer volume of interviews conducted with store owners, buyers, managers, and staff members. With stories told by a talented team of independent contributing writers, we report on everything from display and merchandise buying to best-sellers and product category trends, offering insightful and practical advice in a engaging format full of photos that lets you peek into others’ stores for ideas and inspiration.
In this resort trade show edition, we offer many stories to keep you in touch with the industry. For example, there is expanded coverage of top merchandise categories such as apparel and jewelry, plus articles covering quality gifts, licensed sports merchandise, toys and much more. Several of the stories offer bonus, quick-tips sidebars, including a fast look at “Permanent Versus Temporary Pandemic Changes.”
There is also a special feature “Fun in Fredericksburg – A Texas Town’s Shopping Story,” and as an SGN Bonus Vendor Feature, we present the story “Manufacturing Trends – Masks and More.” In the article, Contributor Susan Mease interviewed a selection of vendors to discuss how they have been adapting to conducting business during a pandemic.
I hope you enjoy the issue. For more information, visit or connect with SGN on Facebook or Twitter. You can also reach out with comments, questions or suggestions by emailing or calling 610-645-6950 and I will respond to your query personally.

Scott C. Borowsky
President and Executive Editor
Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties magazine
Bryn Mawr, Pa.

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