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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"Anybody know what time it is?"

"Of course I want it today. If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have come in tomorrow." 

That's what we call "retail time." Retailers are comfortable with that pace; they enjoy the variety; they welcome the need to change and adjust. 

But, instead of just keeping life interesting, 2020 seems to have gone overboard in bringing changes and disruption to us all. The triple pandemic of the virus, the economy, and the civil unrest. And oh yes, it's also an election year. Enough already, right?

We think the most challenging part of this is the effect on our sense of time.

What day is this? What month? Really? Hasn't everything been disrupted? None of the usual patterns, the usual markers of the months or seasons seem to be available. 

WHEN might we feel like we are back in charge of our own destiny? This state of suspended animation is no fun! 

So, what time is it? Time to focus on those things we can control. And to relish the good changes that this year has brought. 

  • Kind of nice that grocery carts are wiped off, isn't it?
  • Noticed how clean the elevators in parking garages have become?
  • Or how much better some stores look with improved lighting or displays?
  • Or how much that new technology CAN improve the shopper experience?
  • Or how receptive your customers were and are to curbside pickup? 
  • What else have you noticed?

Plus, with more customers of all age groups more comfortable with online communication and social media, your opportunities to bond with them are greatly improved. (Especially during an election year, when paid advertising is dominated by campaigns.)

No, we do not have the answer to "Are we there yet?"

But we do know that the best companion on that journey will be a retailer, willingly embracing the challenge. Just don't expect them to know what time it is either. Other than strange....

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