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Operation: Random Acts of Kindness

The littlest things make the biggest difference—and set your store apart. Find out more.Kindness in small business wholesale retail

Imagine using your position as a shop owner to do good in a small, but meaningful, way. You don’t have to donate thousands of dollars to a charity, instead, consider random acts of kindness. These acts are actually so important that a foundation has been setup to support them and collect real stories of kindness. These range from paying for a stranger’s lunch to leaving inspirational notes in public places to following that “feeling” we get to help a lost soul out.

But how does this do-gooding apply to retail?
As a retailer you are uniquely positioned to share random acts of kindness with the people who pass through your door every day. From a simple compliment, to a great belly laugh, to a warning about not parking in the lot across the street–your kindness can have a ripple effect that you can’t imagine. You can have a lasting impact on the people whose lives you touch.

So how can I get started?
Consider taking the following steps. Start by setting the tone in your store by doing a random act of kindness each week and gradually increasing until you are doing one a day. Once you have a foundation, challenge your employees to get involved. Even consider giving them a dollar amount each month, say $10, to use any way they want to be kind to a customer or each other. This could blossom into a hot coffee on a cold day for an elderly customer, meter feeding for that mom with kids who just can’t get back to her car or even a lunch for a fellow employee that’s having a bad day.

Once you’ve gotten going, it’s time to share. Take the most meaningful acts, the ones that really resonate with you, and tell people about them. If one of your employees helped a customer in a meaningful way and you feel proud, share that on your store’s Facebook page. As long as you are coming from a place of pride, and not sharing to get attention, people will enjoy reading your story and it could inspire them to take action too.

10 Random Acts To Get You Going

1. Praise a co-worker with meaningful acclaim

2. Write and mail a thank you note

3. Ask how someone is doing, mean it and listen to their response

4. Bring baked goods to work to share with everyone

5. Buy a mixed bouquet of flowers and give them away, one at a time

6. Tell a mom she is doing a good job (bonus if her kid is crying)

7. Kindly tell a stranger they have spinach in their teeth, their tag is showing, etc.

8. Tell a shopper to go to your competitor if you don’t have what they are looking for

9. Let an employee go 10 minutes early on a slow day

10. Feed the meter for your customer, or any car parked in front of your store

So get out there and set the example for your crew. Then let them in on your plan and empower them to make a difference. You’ll feel better, your employees will feel better and by extension your customers will benefit too. And who knows, you may end up being one of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s stories!

Do you subscribe to the random acts of kindness philosophy? Are you practicing them in your store or life? Perhaps someone has showed an unexpected kindness to you. We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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