Re-Inventing Retail

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

Avoid "Distracted Driving" Bookmark

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Running retail businesses these days is a lot like teaching a teenager how to drive. "Look son; keep your darn eyes on the road!"

Predictions by the "experts" tell us that the economies of the world are remarkably strong right now. And given that, retail sales this year are expected to be up between 4% and 5%. Maybe the best year in a generation!

It's a time when independent retailers could – and should! – "Go for the gold!" 

All they have to do is keep their eyes on the road.

Retailers are generally very talented, conscientious and well-meaning. But they're also human. And that can cause problems.

Especially in an environment like we have today, the darn distractions keep coming. 

Amazon's growth imperative is insatiable and unrelenting

Disneyland-on-the-Potomac is a daily consuming soap opera

Low unemployment makes H.R. work a never-ending struggle

A new tax law will affect what? Who? And how?

As America's standing in the world erodes, how will the next generation be affected?

And wow! In early February, the stock market took a nose dive!

On and on; the distractions do not subside. 

So what is a smart retailer to do?

"Look son; I know she's cute. But keep your eyes on the road!!"


For retailers, that "road" to keep an eye on is consumer confidence. 

Just watch it carefully. And, especially with your own best customers:

Have IPTs (items per transaction) stayed the same, or dropped?

Have margins started to erode for no apparent reason?

Have you seen a greater reluctance to buy top-of-the-line merchandise?


These kinds of indicators are "the road." All the distractions may be interesting; but they are not significant!

"Son, don't be like some other kids and be distracted. 

"Lots of people will be relying on your ability to always watch the road."

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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!"