Chris Kirkish

Family businesses often boast second- or even third-generation retailers, but far up in the north country of Michigan, a small-town furniture/electronics/appliances operation is being run by the fourth (and sometimes fifth, when the kids put in some hours) generations of the Kirkish family. “I’d love to keep it going for the next generation,” says Kirkish Furniture’s Vice President, Chris. “That’s really my biggest goal, to expand and keep up afloat. We’ve been very lucky so far.” The current Kirkish family store, a 32,000 square feet showroom in a town with a population of 8,000, has been open since 1995. But Chris says

Las Vegas is not a town known for its morning life. The only people up before 9 a.m. are the ones who never made it to bed the night before. But early one morning this summer, nearly a hundred coffee-fueled independent retailers made their way past vacant blackjack tables in the Venetian Resort and gathered in a conference room for a breakfast meeting of the Nationwide Marketing Group’s specialty electronics division (SEN). After a welcome from the buying group’s director, Jeanette Howe, the members heard pitch after pitch from vendors, all with a similar message: if you want to make money this holiday season,

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