Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

New Christmas Shopping Patterns Bookmark

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You noticed it, right? That traditional lull in shoppers, between Thanksgiving Weekend and the 10th of December.

That is just one of the predictable patterns within the Holiday shopping season.

Look who prefers shopping in stores Bookmark

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You’ve heard about the robust sales numbers on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, right? Now ICSC – the International Council of Shopping Centers – has sponsored a research survey about Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday to delve into them a bit more.

And what they found sure surprised us. 

For example, who were the biggest fans of physical retail and shopping centers?


Yep, those "digital natives", folks ages 18 – 36 chose to make their purchases from physical retailers (or through websites operated by physical retailers) rather than shopping pure online retailers such as Amazon.

A Pensive TIme for Retailers Bookmark

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In our experience, the Thanksgiving weekend - Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday - also marks the beginning of a very pensive time for many retail owners.

  • All of the buying and pricing and promotional decisions have been made.
  • Seasonal staff has been brought in and trained.
  • Special displays have been set up, events have been scheduled, and everything is set.

While it is a very busy time in the stores, the owners are more like politicians on election night. All you can do is wait for the results to come in! 

Time to Talk Turkey Bookmark

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Get the turkeys out of your inventoryThanksgiving time in the U.S. is not a good time to be a turkey.

And, the week after Thanksgiving Weekend is obviously not a good time to be selling turkeys or turkey dinners. Especially at full price. 

The same thing applies to your inventory.

Any "turkeys" in your inventory need to be gone by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. No matter how low the price needs to be, there are 3 vital days to get non-sellers out of your inventory.

Remember, the week after Thanksgiving Weekend is the time to have NO "turkeys" in stock.

Look what's trending up this Holiday season Bookmark

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You've seen them, right? All the stories about how strong this year's Holiday sales are expected to be.

Meanwhile, the department stores – Kohl's, J.C.Penney, Macy's –  keep reporting sales declines. And malls, seeing less foot traffic and fewer shoppers, are scrambling. 

So, where will those robust retail sales come from? 

Is Social Media "Effective" for Retailers? Bookmark

The ROI NEWS asked retailers this question about the effectiveness of Social Media: “Does it raise sales?!”

We invited retailers to take a short, quick, 6-question survey about their use of promotional tools in general, and, in particular, “Social Media”: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Other.

We asked, and you answered!

You quickly confirmed that “social media” is in fact a hot topic among retailers!

And, you are willing to share your experience with it with others, and for that we say, Thank You!!

What is the "Future of Retail?" Bookmark

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The NRF – previously known as the National Retail Federation – describes itself as "the world's largest retail trade association."

And indeed, it has expanded well beyond a "national" focus. Its far-reaching international focus matches that of its large enterprise members.

Which Holiday Shoppers Are Welcome? Bookmark

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A data analytics firm has identified four types of holiday shoppers, and advises marketers to have an appropriate strategy for each one. 

Well, of course, none of this is news to retailers! But we think it could make a good topic for your next manager’s meeting. (And, it might be news to some of them!)

  • How many of these patterns do you recognize among your own customers?
  • How many of these 4 types of shoppers are you prepared to serve really well this Holiday Season?

What's Up for Retailers? Lots! Bookmark

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We have a mental image of a wide-open plain with hundreds of prairie dogs, cautiously poking their heads above ground. Looking around, they slowly realize they can actually venture out into the world once again.

And venture forth they do. One by one at first, then more and more. Enthusiastically. Energetically. Excitedly bounding about, encouraging others to share  their sense of adventure and fun.

And that’s what we imagine is next for independent retailers. Here’s why.

About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"