Thanksgiving: The Past, Present & Future

Many Americans think of Thanksgiving as a time when you sit around the dinner table, stuff yourself full, and then join the madness on Black Friday to get all those great deals.  Some people have begun to skip the gracious dinner all together and begin their shopping on Thanksgiving night.  In fact, 92 million people went shopping on Thanksgiving Day last year, which went up by 3 million from 2012.  Is getting a deal on a TV really what Thanksgiving is about?  In today’s society, we as a whole have begun to lose sight of what Thanksgiving truly is.

Surprisingly, some stores have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving this year and encourage other businesses to do the same.

TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Costco, Ace Hardware, Barnes and Noble, Patagonia, Dillard’s, Crate and Barrel, Neiman Marcus, GameStop, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, and REI have all decided to close their doors and enjoy food, family and friends this year.


Sharn Enterprises, Inc will also be closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th 2014 so our staff can enjoy the long weekend with family and friends.  Because that’s what it’s all about!

History of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November every year and is meant to be celebrated with an overload of food, family and friends to honor the early settlers.  A long time ago, a group of English Protestants (also known as Pilgrims) wanted to break away and venture off to the “New World”.  So, they set out on a sixty-six day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with 101 men, women, and children.  The goal was to land and settle where current day New York City is, but due to vicious winds, they had to cut their trip short and settle at what we now know as Cape Cod.  This is where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe (or the Indians as we call them) crossed paths with each other.


When winter season arrived, the Pilgrims gathered anything and everything they could get their hands on, including the Indian’s supplies.  This is where the well-known, beloved Squanto comes into play.  Squanto wanted to avoid any struggle and tension with the Pilgrims, so he took it upon himself to teach the Pilgrims how to grow corn and fertilize their fields using fish.

Finally, after years of unnecessary drama, there was a formal agreement made between the Pilgrims and Indians to protect one other.  Everything was all rainbows and butterflies, until one day the Indians heard gunshot and rushed to the Pilgrims colonies, believing that there was a war to be started.  Much to their surprise, the Pilgrims were only out hunting in order to provide a feast.  For three whole days, the Pilgrims and Indians all ate, played games, and gave thanks together and formed what we now know as Thanksgiving.


On behalf of everyone here at Sharn Enterprises, we remind you to remember the real meaning behind Thanksgiving and have a safe and joyful holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!




11 Merchandising Tips to Get Your Products Sold

We here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc. design and manufacture custom point-of-purchase displays for retail environments. Because we deal with retail projects on a daily basis, we recognize that there are many aspects that go into merchandising a product.  It isn’t just a POP display that a visual designer has to take in to consideration; it’s the overall environment and feel of a space.  In order to make sure you are utilizing your space and display design,  check out these 11 basic merchandising tips from our POP designers as well as business consultant, Donna Wetterstrand.

Within Your Store:

1.  Create an environment within your store. The look and feel should represent your brand’s identity.  Starbucks does a great job of this.

Starbukcs 2

2.  Think about how to enhance the selling environment… this can be done by using music, touch screens, LED displays, monitors, etc.

3.  Elevated service floors are a subtle way to increase customer confidence.

4.  Staging can help your customers imagine your product in their home.


5.  Point-of-sale areas are an excellent way to display items for impulse buying or to display current sales or discounts. Small, inexpensive items should be placed on the way to the cash register to encourage quick, impulse purchases.

6.  Keep your store clean. No one will notice when your store is clean, but they DO notice when it is dirty!

Your POP Display:

7.  Full shelves/hooks show the customer you have a lot to offer.

Visual Merchandising

8.  Prime items should be placed at eye level.

9.  Maximize capacity.  Retail space is expensive, so be sure you are fitting the most product in the allowed floor space. That can be accomplished by using a custom display made specifically for your products.


10.  Mark your territory. Be certain that your signage is permanently attached to your display and display stands. You do not want a competitor to put their merchandise on your display.

11.  Be consistent.  This is especially true when you are deciding on POP displays. Make sure all of the designs for multiple displays keep up with the flow and consistency of your brand.

What are some of the merchandising techniques that YOU use?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!




Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day is an annual holiday that honors the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The significance of November 11th is that it is the anniversary of the end of World War I, which was ended on the eleventh day on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month in 1918.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day.  In 1938, Armistice Day became a federal holiday, and in 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to include all U.S. Veterans.


Currently, there are 19.6 million veterans in the United States.  There are 1.6 female veterans and 9.3 million U.S. veterans over the age of 65.  There are 39,890 veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War still living.

President of Sharn Enterprises, Roger Wandersee is a veteran so I asked Roger, “What does Veterans Day mean to you?”

“My father was an air force pilot during World War II and flew a B29 Bomber.  My uncles served during the Korean War and my brother served in during the Vietnam conflict.  I served in the USAR for six years as a teaching medic, so the military is a part of my family’s history and I honor all those who have served.”

As a proud American manufacturer, we here at Sharn honor all those who are currently serving and those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Thank you for your service.

-Stephanie Shostok, Designer/Acct. Representative



CNN Library. (2014, October 25). Veterans Day Fast Facts.  In CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from

History of Veterans Day. (2014). In U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Stale in Business

What comes to mind when you think of the word “stale”? Probably old, moldy, gross, not fit for eating, the opposite of fresh, dry, etc.

No one likes a stale piece of bread, especially if you are craving a hearty, jam-packed, fresh sandwich. The same is true in business. Boring, tiresome, and stale ideas often lead to uninteresting results.

In both B2C and B2B business, keeping ideas new and fresh will keep the customers and businesses you handle coming back for more. This is why keeping up with trends, your competitors, keeping an open mind, and bringing in new employees with different backgrounds and experiences is important.

Stale is boring. Fresh is the way to go.

Here are 5 ways to avoid becoming stale in business:

Change What’s Not Working

The example that comes to mind is our automotive industry. For many years, cars were being “built in obsolescence,” meaning they seemed to last for 5-6 years and then things would go south. Around the 1970s, companies like Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers started to be imported into the USA on a more massive scale. Those cars were deemed more reliable, fuel efficient, and longer-lasting. Thus, the automotive industry began changing. Because they did not change fast enough with the growing imports, American automakers lost significant market share.

Don’t Change Your Core Values

If your company has a mission statement and core values that were established at the time of incorporation or that have been developed over the years, stay consistent with those values. Bring these positive values to the forefront and deliver your products, services, etc., with them in mind. Your values cannot become stale unless you no longer believe in them.


Children are given recess, which allows them to get away from a subject, refresh themselves, and come back ready to learn. This philosophy should be true when it comes to a business. You cannot expect your employees to thrive unless they have a time to disconnect from their desk or workplace. Kimberly Elsbach, Management Professor at UC-Davis, says, “Never taking a break from very careful thought actually reduces your ability to be creative. It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”


Let’s take a look at retail and shopping. Most retail purchases are done by impulse. This means you need to get your products noticed on the shelf. How are you going to get your products noticed? By exploring, that’s how! No matter what kind of business you are in, taking the time to research, observe, and study what your competitors and related businesses are doing will give you that competitive edge. If you are a company who is in the active wear business and you want to try to get people to buy your products, you are going to try to out-do Nike, Adidas, and other similar brands on the market. Being different and refreshing catches a customer’s eye and enhances your chances of getting noticed.

Hire People Who Are Different From You

Stability in the workplace is very important, but so is change. If no one ever changes, bad habits may continue. Age and diversity of employees is just as important. Taking it back to retail, the population you sell to is diversified with varying ethnic groups, male vs. female, and tastes. If you are the leader of an organization and don’t actively get out of your comfort zone and hire people that that are different from you, you’re destined to only make decisions that appeal to you, not other people.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to stay fresh in the business world?

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