Re-Inventing Retail

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

"Distracted Customer Syndrome" Becomes Chronic Bookmark

Specify Alternate Text

After watching consumers being riveted on chaotic national affairs for almost a year, we now have put a label on it: “Distracted Customer Syndrome”. And it seems, sadly, to be unrelenting.

It started during the 2016 Presidential election campaign. Nothing about that was typical. It made for good television theater, and the networks certainly obliged.

And, we ascribed the sluggish retail sales in the fall to demands of this new American spectator sport. 

While the election of Donald Trump as President stunned and astounded many, immediately after, in November and December, retail sales bounced back smartly. The prevailing wisdom was that Republican control of the White House and Congress would be “good for business.” And the uncertainty of the election was over.

Ahh, but the spectacle of it all has not abated! Nor has the turmoil. 

Uncertainty abounds, especially from a President who prides himself on being “unpredictable.” Not to mention Congress, Cabinet officials, and federal agencies. 

All of the uncertainty and the daily theater tends to erode consumer confidence. And since consumer confidence is, in our view, THE leading indicator of discretionary consumer spending, retail sales are being impacted.

Shoppers exhibiting “Distracted Customer Syndrome” are spending much less on discretionary items.

Their time is still being consumed by this new spectator sport.

Is there a remedy to this Distracted Customer Syndrome? We don’t know. But we are concerned.

But, we have to believe that there will be some resolution. Once that occurs, and the uncertainty has been tempered, consumer confidence very likely will be restored. 

Meanwhile, stay strong!

Comments are closed.

Showing 0 Comment

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!"