Every store and website is dreaming up a gimmick to get people shopping this holiday season. One store in my neighborhood is advertising, 'Buy three, get one free.' BCBG is selling its current season's stock at half off, and the Saks shoe salon resembles a sample sale right now, with its seriously slashed prices and crazy-eyed shoppers.
Norma Kamali's come up with a new shopping concept, sans the frenzy: Try Before You Buy (at normakamalicollection.com). Place your order online, try on everything at home (with your accessories and wardrobe at hand), and return what you don't want within 48 hours. You only pay for what you keep. While shipping isn't included, the company offers Fed Ex overnight and pickup services at reduced prices.
In this economy, the way to set your brand apart is through customer service. Think free shipping, personal shoppers, and buyer's blogs on store websites. What would you like to see from your fave stores next season?