Features: How to Negotiate a Better Lease

Ready to sign a new lease? Smart strategies can protect your bottom line.

It's time for your lease renewal. Are you ready to negotiate? If you're like many retailers, your answer is "No." But a lack of preparation can be costly. Rent is typically a retailer's second-largest operating expense after labor. And the common industry practice of adjusting staff levels to reflect a changing business environment simply won't work with lease payments. You're pretty much stuck with them once you've signed on the bottom line. It's more important than ever to negotiate a better deal in today's real estate environment, characterized by its rising prices.

Features: Windows 10 - Microsoft's Mea Culpa

The new release of Windows is meant to win back the mouse-and-keyboard crowd.

Beauty store owners who reacted to Windows 8 with howls of incredulity can take heart: Microsoft is bending over backwards with its next Windows release to win back the mouse-and-keyboard crowd.

Yes, it's true. With Windows 10 - there will be no Windows 9 - due for release in summer 2015, Microsoft will once again make it simple to navigate the operating system with a keyboard and mouse. Moreover, the Redmond, Washington goliath will be bringing back other features - such as the Start Menu - that make Windows such a hit in previous incarnations.

A Modern Look for Cosmetics Law?

Here's a detailed look at the Personal Care Products Safety Act - the proposed overhaul of cosmetics - the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate is currently considering a bill to enhance the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's oversight of cosmetics. This bill is intended to bring the aging cosmetics laws in the United States in line with consumer demand for more rigorous guarantees of safety. The law that currently governs cosmetics is the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938. Since then, U.S. consumers have become much more vocal in demanding safe products and safe cosmetics, in particular.

Features: What's Your Store-y?

Everything has a backstory. What will your store's be?

Think about some of the most interesting companies in the world and their unique stories. Imagine what Ford Motor Co. would be without tales of Henry Ford and his assembly line. Or how Coca-Cola started out as a cure-all tonic. Think, too, about the gregarious personalities of Steve Jobs and Apple, or the intellectual intensity of Bill Gates and Microsoft. These companies and their founders have been built on stories - some true, some embellished - and perhaps a few that are somewhat contrived. In any case, these stories are widely known by employees and customers alike.

Features: Are You Mobile-Friendly?

If you think becoming mobile-friendly costs a fortune, rethink your stance. It's actually affordable.

Beauty stores looking to quickly establish a mobile-friendly presence on the Web can take heart: There are scores of mobile template providers and conversion services that can now make your website mobile-ready for $100 or less.

Once a passing consideration, going mobile is now considered imperative for beauty stores looking to stay abreast of the unbridled popularity of tablets, smartphones and other handheld computerized devices—all of which demand websites designed for small screens.

Skincare Spotlight: The Changing Face of Spa

You've heard of Massage Envy. How about Skin Laundry? Face Haus? The new HeyDay? They're also disrupting this sector.

No one would disagree that the U.S. spa industry suffered significantly during the Great Recession. And most people would agree that the spa industry is back on track. Numbers from the International SPA Association's 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Survey indicate as much.