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A Matter of Perspective

Jennifer Cattaui
Editor-in-Chief

Pricing pandemonium through Groupon models, the rising cost of cotton, social networks and location-based sales technologies, taxes, recessions …

Jennifer Cattaui

Editor-in-Chief

Jennifer Cattaui

Pricing pandemonium through Groupon models, the rising cost of cotton, social networks and location-based sales technologies, taxes, recessions and bedbugs: As retailers, you’re being hit every which way with new issues, risks and opportunities. All the while, you’re smiling, helping your customers and dazzling them with your personal service and knowledge.

Although I’ve been in the magazine industry for years (and before that I was a tax lawyer), I’ve also been in retail. I own a children’s shop called Babesta in New York and grapple with the same issues you do. When the CPSC made the changes in lead and phthalates laws, like you, I had to educate myself as to what that meant to my store and customers. At the time—it was the first such “shake up” I had experienced—I rented an XRF gun and tested every item in my store to give myself the peace of mind that my goods met these new standards.

Then the banking debacle happened, which affected us all, and I saw a lot of local stores around me pack it in when they couldn’t get credit. We’re only starting to see an easing in credit and lending. As of last August, store gift cards got greater regulation through the Credit Card Act, which limits expiration dates and requires more transparency. I am patently against gift cards that expire (I still have one at Tiffany & Co. from my wedding 10 years ago), but I understand the complexity in record keeping and the more sophisticated systems such tracking requires.

Now, among other things, I’m thinking about how group-buying platforms are affecting the local brick-and-mortar model. Flash opportunities with deep discounts are changing expectations and seeding perceptions of price variability long after that group sale is over.

I will bring my retail knowledge, experience and curiosity to the pages at Earnshaw’s, and help detangle some of these issues facing us all. I want to make sure each and every month we provide you with meaningful content, including news, regulations, trends and laws that affect children’s retail. I will introduce you to new products that you may have missed and inspire you with beautiful fashion pages—conceived, styled and photographed by our award-winning creative team.

Most importantly, I want to take my cues from you—what you want to learn and what content will help your business grow. I invite you to e-mail me, call me or tweet me. Let me know your latest news, ideas and feedback. —Jennifer Cattaui

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