Shop Talk: Practical Answers for tough business questions.

by : 
Kim Perkins
April 1, 2013

Question: What kinds of perks do you offer your employees? I’m looking for new ways to reward them that won’t cost a lot.

Answer: Your employees are some of your best customers—they love to shop at your store—so you can offer regular discounts on merchandise, the opportunity to order from certain vendors at cost, or a store gift card when they reach sales goals. Pizza lunches or bagel-and-fruit breakfasts, an after-hours employee party, and an employee “freebie” bin of extra products and promotional items from vendors are great ways to say “thank you.” You can also offer tickets to local events you may receive. Surprise them occasionally with movie tickets or grocery store gift cards just for being wonderful.

Kim Perkins is co-owner of Elysian Fields Books & Gifts for Conscious Living (, an award-winning store in Sarasota, Fla. Send your retail questions to