Susan Dickenson

Lust for lists

February 5, 2014

I like lists. I've recently developed a fancy for "Top 10s," especially those that narrow down a year's worth of blog posts into a nice, efficient list of the year's most popular reads.

One of the best retail "top 10s" from this most recent season of lists is the National Retail Federation's "Top 10 posts on Retail's BIG Blog." This is a great blog, but one with a lot of activity, information and commentary that I don't always have time to read. The "Top 10 posts" post gives me a chance to survey the year's hottest topics so I can be somewhat confident I haven't missed anything.

Here's what made the NRF's "Top 10 posts on Retail's BIG Blog" list, all of which can be found at (1) What Fortune's "Best Retailers to Work For" have in common; (2) Top back-to-school trends for 2013; (3) How Belk infused its "Southern State of Mind" into omnichannel convergence; (4) Top six retail loss prevention trends for 2013; (5) The (not so) spooky stats for Halloween 2013; (6) Retail's BIG Show 2013, before and after; (7) Five tips for small retailers to grow their brands; (8) A retail store trends trip around the world; (9) Thanksgiving turkey, with a side of shopping; (10) State of the Union proposals carry wide impact for retail industry.

Another top 10 list I like belongs to Steven Dennis, president and founder of Sageberry Consulting, a marketing consulting firm for multichannel retail and luxury/fashion brands. Check out the intriguing headlines on Dennis's "Top 10 blog posts of 2013," all of which can be read at (1) Neiman Marcus & Target: A glorious failure; (2) JC Penney: Trouble on the home front; (3) Math is hard, for JC Penney; (4) Sears: The world's slowest liquidation sale; (5) JC Penney: Gloat edition; (6) The multichannel customer is your best customer. Duh; (7) No pottery, no barn, no crates, no barrels; (8) The world's first omnichannel executive; (9) Blaming the hole; (10) Silos belong on farms (redux).

Motivated by these and some of the other listers out there, I decided to dip into Home Accents Today's web analytics and compile a list of my own - "Top 10 Retail Update blog posts of 2013."

These are the Retail Update blog posts, posted in the calendar year 2013, that received the most traffic up until midnight, Dec. 31:

Donny Osmond Home Collection: The interview, Dec. 11, 2013. This blog entry is about my backstage interview with Donny and the unexpected regressive state that left me clammy and speechless upon meeting my adolescent puppy love interest. Shaky homemade video link is included. Pretty impressive ranking considering this one wasn't even posted until the final month of the year.

New Simon Pearce bowl funds brain injury support/resources, Aug. 13, 2013. Vermont- based pottery and glassmaker Simon Pearce and his wife, Pia, are the parents of Kevin Pearce, a professional snowboarder who survived a traumatic brain injury from a near-fatal fall while training for the 2010 Olympic trials. I was familiar with the beautiful glasswork of Simon Pearce, but discovered Kevin and the rest of the family while watching HBO's The Crash Reel, which beautifully documents Kevin's rise, fall, rehabilitation/recovery and rise. Simon Pearce's Love Your Brain bowl helps fund awareness of and support for brain injuries and their victims.

My 52-year-old eyes love Google Glass! Oct. 5, 2013. Google Glass launched its national demonstration roadshow in Durham, N.C., and I was there.

Polish your press writing skills: The pitch and release, June 12, 2013. Knowing the difference between a press release and a pitch, when to use them, and how to write them increases your chances for publication and media coverage. Taryn Scher, president of TK PR, joined me to provide a few tips and advice.

Furniture retailers use accessories to help drive sales, May 21, 2013. This post recapped an event that took place in the Surya showroom during the spring High Point Market. Satya Tiwari, Surya's president, moderated a panel discussion with Ron Werner, president of HW Home; Matt Huber, VP of merchandising at Belfort Furniture; and Elisa Watson, accessory buyer for Hill Country Holdings, an Ashley Furniture Home Stores operator.

Target shows off ‘Threshold' home collection in life-size dollhouse, May 7, 2013. Target built a life-size dollhouse in the middle of New York's Grand Central Terminal, filled it with 3,000 pieces of furniture and home décor from its Threshold Collection and, for two days in May, invited everyone to play.

Shopping behaviors, omnichannel tactics, technology explored at IRCE 2013, Sept. 9, 2013. An interesting graphic presented at the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition summarized the good and bad points of shopping online and in stores.

Aktion Plagiarius dishonors best design knock-offs with annual awards, March 7, 2013. A new round of design knock-offs in housewares, home décor and gift items were recognized with Plagiarius awards at Ambiente 2013 in Frankfurt. Since 1977, German non-profit Aktion Plagiarius has been awarding these juried "anti-prizes" to manufacturers and distributors of "the most flagrant" design imitations.

360 Degrees of engagement, July 5, 2013. This one shared my fascination with Google Street View and Google Business Photos. Google Business Photos, launched last year, extends Street View to the inside of a store or business, inviting virtual customers to explore a 360-degree panoramic view of the interior - shelves, merchandise and all.

Downton Abbey home décor collection: A closer look, Dec. 20, 2013. I am a fan. And I couldn't resist sharing photos from Heritage Lace's new Downton Abbey home décor and textiles collection.

If you are a regular reader of the Home Accents Today blogs you may recognize many of these. If not, check us out each week, along with Millennial Musings, From the Editor, An Inside Look and Style + Substance, at