We’ve Got News!

Welcome back to the print edition of NICHE magazine. If you’ve paged through this far, you’ve already seen our new nameplate and cover design. We’ve also changed our paper stock and switched over to a more user-friendly saddle-stitch binding. Inside, you’ll notice new department tags, modernized design elements and a renewed emphasis on practical, take-away information on how to succeed at running a small business.

This is just the beginning of changes to come. The online version of NICHE has undergone a makeover too, with major improvements in its look, feel and ease of navigation. The Winter edition uploads with the mailing of the print version in late December, so be sure to check it out.

We consider NICHE to be an evolving work in progress, so reader comments are most welcome. Tell us what we’re doing right. Tell us what we’re still missing. Most of all, tell us what you need. Our aim, both in print and online, is to get a strong dialogue going that results in a win-win for us all.

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Yes, the economy is still a challenge; yes, shoppers are still guarding their cash; and yes, you could choose to just sit in a corner and sulk until retail conditions pick up. But, then, none of you ever seriously considered that as an option anyway, right?

No matter how long you’ve been in business, you know that dealing with the ups and downs of the business cycle is just another part of smart management: conditions always change eventually. The trick is to keep customers spending money with you in the meantime. Just how you get them to do that, say NICHE magazine’s 2009 Top Retailers, is key.

In a special section starting on page 57, this year’s top craft retailers share their strategies for riding high in a down economy. Using a combination of best business practices, savvy marketing techniques and sheer moxie, they’re not only holding their own on the retail front, but in some cases say they’re having their best bottom-line year ever.

Our hats are off to all the Top Retailers. And more power to them!

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We’d like to extend special thanks to all the Preferred Galleries who responded to our online call for comments about which of the final four options for NICHE’s new nameplate they liked best. The responses were greatly encouraging, and helped us to finalize our choice.

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