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No storeowner sells alone. The most sturdy partnership for dance retailers is often the one you cultivate with local studios. In “Turning Studios into Studio Partners,” four storeowners share the details of how they work with their studio partners to keep the flow of dancers coming their way. And for stores that sell high-end and fashion lines, it’s the customer who can be the critical partner. In “Selling Tips for High-End Dancewear,” storeowners talk about how they stay on top of what their fashion-conscious customers want—and how they keep these customers coming back, not just with the promise of beautiful apparel, but with a memorable shopping experience, too.

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Connecting with customers to deliver an emotionally resonant shopping experience takes constant reinvention. What are shoppers looking for these days? A chance to learn, a recent study found, whether through an in-store class or lesson, expert advice or even a club (VIP customers?) that meets in the store. Lots of creative possibilities for dance retailers there.

Kenishirotie-ThinkstockPhotos-485998963_R1Your Vacation Is Good for Business
With all the prep for back-to-school season well underway, you may have overlooked one crucial step: recharging your own batteries before the rush of fall customers. Entrepreneurs typically neglect their own vacations, and may even feel proud of the long hours and dedication they show to their customers and staff. But taking time off is good for a lot of reasons: You can step back, take a deep breath and reboot, making room in your head for fresh inspiration, creative leaps and new perspectives on old challenges. Plus you can help your staff grow by leaving them in charge—even if just for a long weekend. When they see you trust them, they will more than likely rise to the occasion. So go have some fun.

Don’t Miss! Creative ideas and lighting tips for window displays (Designs & Displays this month). We always love seeing what new merchandise and window displays you’ve come up with. Send photos to DRNeditor@dancemedia.com.

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