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

What else has gone missing in 2020?

Usually at this time of year, we would be encouraging you to remember that "the lull" is about to arrive. 

That is, that time span from Black Friday/Cyber Monday through early December is typically much slower for retailers. 

And then, come December 10th or so, the Christmas sprint begins! 

Ahh yes. That was then. And this is, well, 2020. 

  • "November is the new December", shoppers are told. Plus, shippers from FedEx to UPS and the U.S. Postal Service already anticipate being overwhelmed.
  • Shoppers are encouraged to not only buy early ("inventories are light") but to expect longer delivery timeframes. 
  • Oh, and then there's this news: Amazon is touting their expanded returns policies. Any items purchased on Amazon between October 1 and December 31 can be returned through January 31. That will have a ripple effect for all retailers.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 virus is surging. Those folks gathering with friends and families for Thanksgiving may very well be giving or receiving the virus for Christmas. 

Amidst all this, where will people turn for a voice of reason? A sense of normalcy?

We think many of your customers will be turning to you. You hold the key to how they will be able to celebrate the holidays this year.

As you may already be experiencing, there's kind of a groundswell of interest and momentum to support local retailers this year. (Whew! And timely!) Out of despair can come a resurgence. 

  • Your gift ideas, your responsible in-store policies, your flexibility with curbside pickup, or in-store appointments, or shopping-via-Zoom or FaceTime sessions, to special gift wrap and delivery to the final destination will be a tremendous source of help and Holiday spirit.


New ways of doing things and new time patterns are still being demanded of us all. But as always, retail IS a mirror of society.

And independent retailers mirror the very best parts of that. 

Stay strong! You are needed now more than ever!

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