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

Continuing Flexibility Test

As we introduced previously, the New Normal for retailers is already here. It is a new "retail clock." 

  • "As the global efforts to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic continue, there is another curve that is being flattened. That would be the seasonality of retail sales. 

    "And this may prove to be what really defines the New Normal for retailers. 

    "The customary peaks of retail spending have been flattened."

Of course, it is not just retailers who have been affected; the shoppers also have been adapting. But whereas retailers think in terms of seasons (weeks and months), the shoppers are adjusting their patterns at the daily and weekly level.

  • For instance, given the restrictions of the pandemic, this year weekends have increasingly been used by people for outdoor fun activities, whether it's bike rides or hikes or now outdoor dining, not household chores.
  • Much of the shopping that might have typically been saved for the weekends has now been replaced by online ordering and home delivery. The convenience and time-savings of having basic commodity-type items arriving at one's front  door will continue as a preferred way of shopping. 

Meanwhile, other shopping is occurring mid-week, as people have the "found time" of not commuting. They also have discovered retailers closer to their homes (and possibly with parking right in front of the store.) 

Have you noticed these trends in your retail operation?

So not only are the seasons flattening, so too are the weeks. 

As retailers compare daily sales to last year, the transactions and dollar volume on weekends may be down. But, what has happened to the weekdays?

  • Which previously slow days are becoming more active?
  • And what does that mean for your scheduling? Your advertising? The coordination with your neighboring retailers?


Once again, it is a flexibility test. But that is nothing new for 2020, is it??

The New Normal is being defined by this flattening of the retail clock. The whole notion of what constitutes "retail time," retail seasons, and shopping days is changing.

And what has driven this? Yes, the customers. Getting what they want when they want it is a priority for today's shoppers. 

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