From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Get Ready. A New, Upbeat Era is Coming!

As the final third of the year approaches, there's a "new era" afoot. There is optimism in the air. 

Optimism? Really? 

Yes! And it could catch a lot of folks by surprise. 


Consider these "early warning signs" of approaching good news:

  • Those surveys of "consumer attitudes" indicate that folks do reflect the news headlines regarding the economy – that is, respondents are pessimistic about "the economy." But when asked about their own financial situation, the responses were very positive; people feel good about their personal financial situation.
  • Meanwhile, the University of Michigan's Survey of Consumer Sentiment shows improvement. Just the beginning of a trend?
  • The pent-up demand for family vacations, wedding celebrations, participation in summer camps, attending sporting events or live concerts – many of those activities have resumed. And more to follow, as the school year begins and we head into the fall season of spectator sports, concert series, etc. 
  • The approaching cadence of post-Labor Day fall and winter holidays, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to the Christmas holidays and New Yearsoffer many opportunities for people to re-engage and celebrate with friends and family. Look for people to seize these opportunities with enthusiasm. 

All of these elements create a heightened sense of control in our daily lives, which has been missing throughout much of the pandemic.

And it also shows up in the business world as well.

  • The two-plus years of Covid and its relentless uncertainties, disruptions and impositions on our daily lives have given way to significant shifts in attitudes, and power. 
  • Consider how "work from home" is becoming a deal-breaker for some employees, and note how employers have had to adjust.
  • Similarly, the increasing sense of empowerment by employees at Starbucks, Amazon, REI and others, as reflected in their efforts to form unions, is another aspect of this newfound sense among employees of power and control.

Regaining more control in our lives has lead to a new, upbeat can-do attitude of optimism. 

Retailers – who we believe are the most optimistic people on earth – need very little encouragement to have an upbeat attitude about the future.  

But we believe at this stage of 2022, it is more than warranted. And we encourage all to be prepared for many of your shoppers to be very upbeat. The new era bodes well.

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