New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cara Hopkins' Blog

Do you blog?

Los Altos, Calif.-based Merchant Circle, a social networking site for small businesses, reported that its members posted 15,676 blog entries in the month of January, a 190 percent increase from January 2008.

It got me thinking, what makes a good retailer blog? It’s a fine line…There needs to be a balance between marketing your store and generating content that anyone other than your mother would want to read. I quickly scanned the blogosphere and found two examples of retailer blogs that take a stab at engaging customers.

I started with the Whole Foods Market blog. It includes everything from recipes to a list of recently recalled peanut products. One blog post features a letter from a “happy customer” thanking the grocery chain for its affordability. Hmmm … Printing customer feedback is a great idea, but this feels a little too convenient for a store with the nickname “Whole Paycheck.”

On the flip side, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, an El Segundo, Calif.-based chain with stores in the western U.S., mixes up its blog with candid photos of customers in its stores and forums like “What’s your favorite Fresh & Easy product?” Getting the customers involved in this way—putting their mugs up on your site and letting them drive discussion through online forums about your store—is a great way to balance public relations with personality.

So, do you blog? I want to know about it! Send me an email at [email protected], or leave a comment below.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.