Any shop can use a computer to track inventory and help with the books.
But only big retailers are linked to their vendors via electronic data-interchange systems that track buying patterns in real time and reorder top-selling merchandise.
— It's a tiny, nondescript storefront in downtown Los Gatos, Calif., with one part-time employee who works 19 hours a week.
And they go to considerable lengths to ensure that people who jog regularly in Los Gatos wind up meeting them.Athletic Performance last year posted sales of 0,000, or 6 a square foot - more than 2.5 times the retail average.Armstrong and Harmatz think nothing of letting customers trot up Main Street in a new pair of running shoes to make sure the fit is right.The store is open at least 11 hours a day, seven days a week, 362 days a year.''I try to treat every customer like gold.''Of course, Athletic Performance isn't the only successful independent retailer.